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Liz's Stent Placement Surgery

Organized by: Nicholas OConnell

Nicholas' Photo

THE STORY:

Elizabeth O'Connell is 29 years young. She was diagnosed with Intercranial Hypertension (I.I.H) aka. Pseudotumor Cerebri in July of 2006 due to a car accident earlier that April. She suffered whiplash afterwards, destroying the villi in the base of her brain. This condition occurs when excess cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collects in the brain's ventricles crushing the brain causing another condition known as "High Pressure Headaches" described by numerous patients and Doctors alike as "The worst head pain a human can experience". Liz then had a L.P shunt (a lumbar–peritoneal (L.P.) shunt is a technique to channelise the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the lumbar thecal sac (in her brain) to her abdomen where it would be reabsorbed into her body) placed in her brain in August but then had to be replaced in February of 2009 because it had pulled away from her spine. Over the course of the next decade, Liz was "treated" by multiple doctors, specialists, and pain management facilities in multiple states by course of numerous medication which offered little to no relief. All while suffering from Sudden Temporary Blindness, unimaginably excrutiating Lower lumber( severe scar tissue and nerve damage from the surgeries) and Intercranial pain, and raising her two children (then infant now 7 and 9) on her own. After being told again and again that the medication was her only option for relief/pain management despite it's ineffectiveness, on January 21st, 2016 her Dr informed her of a new but highly successful procedure called Right Transverse Sinus Stent Angioplasty. A long way of saying they stuck a stent in the ventricle in her brain to try to widen it allowing for a higher percentage of cerebral fluid drainage. Their hope was that it would stop the worsening of her vision, relieve the intracranial pressure crushing her brain, prevent further narrowing of the ventricles in her brain and prevent any further corneal damage to her eyes. This surgery would allow her to become more active including allowing her to fufill her hope and dreams of finally be able to return to the workforce. By February 9, her Dr had the surgery scheduled for March 21st. It all seemed like a dream come true! After a decade of suffering, Liz was given a once in a lifetime opportunity to not only take back control of her pain but more importantly, her life. So on March 21st, Liz went to Fletcher Allen Memorial Hospital to have the stent placed. The surgery went as well as it could have. Over the next month she experienced things she hadn't experienced since age 18. A normal headache, clear vision, waking up without sobbing because of the agony she was in to name a few. Now for the first time since she was 18, she has been cleared to return to work. Unfortunately, due to struggling financially over the last decade, raising 2 children on her own, she needs helps to do so. This fundraiser is aimed to help purchase a vehicle, interview and work clothing and help cover some of the out of pocket costs of her stay in the I.C.U following her surgery among other odds and ends. Liz is a passionate and loving women, daughter, mother and sister. If anyone deserves to finally catch a break and be given the blessing of help, it's her.

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Nicholas OConnell

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