Judy Lee is my mom and my friend, and unfortunately, she has been sick for a long time from autoimmune liver disease. Despite her illness, she has a strength and determination that blends beautifully with her gentle and quiet spirit. She has spent her life selflessly, and often sacrificially, giving of herself to others. 1 Corinthians 16:14 describes her best: “Let all that you do be done with love.” Now you and I have an opportunity to extend that love back to her. The cost of a transplant can be very overwhelming, and she needs our help!
Judy grew up in Central Florida, meeting her future husband, Robert, in high school. They quickly became best friends and high school sweethearts, and married soon after graduation. A few years later, she joyfully traded her professional career as a drafting clerk to invest in her family as a homemaker and mother of three. She volunteered hundreds of hours at her children’s school, church, and eventually the local library. When Judy was hired as the Head Librarian, she was loved by patrons and staff alike for many years. Three years ago, Judy became too ill to keep working, and had to retire from her job. Since then, her health has continued to diminish as liver disease has taken its toll on her body. But she holds on to hope for a new liver and renewed health! She longs for the energy to enjoy more time loving on her 13 grandchildren! Together, Judy and her family are committed to seeing her through this transplant.
July 21, 2017
Mom’s liver numbers continue to look good. So thankful! Her doctors are tweaking her meds a bit to see if that will alleviate her constant nausea. A major concern is that she is severely under weight after these many months in and out of the hospital. She is certainly trying to eat, but it’s hard to eat enough to gain weight when she feels nauseated all the time.
A huge answer to prayer: Mom’s most costly med that is crucial to treating toxoplasmosis (brain infection), has gone from being cost prohibitive (nearly $7000 per month after insurance), to practically free ($10 per month)!!!! Her post-transplant coordinator and social worker were instrumental in making this happen. We are so immensely grateful! God is making a way!
My parents have also been given a very generous financial gift that will help to offset the cost of their hospital bill and deductible. Again, I just can’t say enough how grateful we are!
If you’re wondering what’s left, there is still a financial burden that we need your help with. My parents’ remaining pharmaceutical expenses are approximately $1500 per month. That’s in addition to the cost of simply having insurance and living expenses in general.
Please continue praying for Mom’s full healing,relief from nausea, increased strength and weight gain; for the financial burden to continue to be lifted; for God to use my Mom’s story to draw others to Himself!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers and support! God is so good! He is our Refuge and Strength!
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; His my God, and I trust Him!”
July 14, 2017
A lot has happened since I last updated here. We nearly lost Mom back on June 1st, when a silent killer made its presence known. Prior to that day she was beginning to turn the corner. Little did we know that the long, hard road of recovery was about to get much, much harder.
She was sick through the night of May 31st, awoke the following day unable to speak clearly, say names, or follow commands. Multiple seizures later, and an ambulance transport to South Lake Hospital, she was sedated and intubated. An MRI revealed a significant amount of swelling and a mass in her brain. Soon after she was life-flighted to Shands. Mom was critical and not expected to pull through. But, she hung on another day. Then another. On the evening of June 3rd she was awake, though not yet able to communicate around her breathing tube. But, she knew us! In the next few days, after removing the breathing tube, she was communicating with us, but not fully in reality. Answers regarding her current condition were slow coming. All we could do was wait and pray.
The suspected culprit was a parasite named toxoplasma gondii. Statistically, for every three people that read this update, at least one of you carries this same parasite in your system. For you and me, it remains dormant. For someone who is immunosuppressed, like my mom, this parasite can be deadly, and develops into an infection called toxoplasmosis. After days of testing, further complications, concern over Mom’s cognitive state, MRIs, etc., she was finally discharged for home three weeks later with a whole list of new medications to treat toxoplasmosis. Combined with her anti-rejection meds, she was then up to 30 pills a day. The days were difficult. The new meds caused endless nausea and loss of appetite. Then, about 10 days later, Mom’s kidneys were in distress (another side effect of her new medications). Back to Shands for another ten days for more tests, more trials with various medications to see how she would respond to different treatments, more delusions and hallucinations, more nausea…that leads us to today. Today she is back home with a med that seems to be somewhat tolerable. She still feels nauseated, but today she is eating! Today she laughed and smiled with my children. She’s weak, and she’s tired. But, today is the best I have seen her in over a month. I am thankful for today.
In all of this time, my parents have persevered. God has given them an endurance that just doesn’t make sense apart from Him. My mom, though understandably weary, is the strongest woman I know. And my dad’s love and commitment as he stands by her and cares for her is remarkably beautiful.
Several months ago Dad resigned from his job because Mom needs constant care. As you can imagine, this means finances are a hardship. And, did you know that my dad had cancer last year and prostate removal surgery at the end of 2016? Then, exactly one month later, he took my mom to Shands ER for severe vomiting and this long, difficult spiral began. While their deductibles were high before, we were extremely thankful that their insurance covered 100% of their hospital and pharmacy expenses after their deductibles were met. Now they pay for “Cobra” insurance, which is at least double their former monthly insurance cost, and after paying their $6000 per person deductible, insurance will only cover 70% of their medical expenses. I don’t know any other way to convey the need except to give you the numbers. One of her meds, the most expensive one, will cost almost $7000 per month (yes, thousand!), and she needs to take it for the next 11 months. And that is AFTER insurance! We are diligently seeking out other possible means and ways to bring the cost down. I know God will make a way, and right now I’m asking you to consider being part of that way. Can you and will you donate to my mom’s medical fund? ANY amount, EVERY amount truly helps!
Thank you for your consideration. Thank you for praying. God is faithful. He is good. We never walk alone.
June 29, 2017
Sending thoughts and many prayers your way from Claremont NH.
Angela & Colin Treem, NH
June 27, 2017
Judith, Maintain hope from another transplant recipient. My journey was also long but I can trufully tell you over time it gets better.
Dwight J. Crawford, December 4, 2015
June 14, 2017
We are praying for you and with you. God has you in His loving hands and will not forsake you. Stay positive and be the best that your body allows you to be.
March 15, 2017
I love you, Mum!