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Mary Ann is a 66-year-old lifelong educator forced into early retirement after an accident. She fell on an escalator while saving her 83-year-old elderly mother. She pulled her mom forward, preventing her from falling, as Mary Ann flew over her Mon approximately six feet down the escalator mid-air and landed on her head with all her body weight. No one shut the escalator off, and she dragged up the escalator while the machine chopped and cut her arms and legs. She was dragged to the top with her head split and her body mauled. She spent over a week in a Boston trauma center, then was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation for a few months of treatment, followed by several years of outpatient services. She suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, which prevented her from continuing her administrative job in a huge school district. She is still being treated for her injuries today. Mary Ann was missed for over a year of work and was forced into early retirement, neither the store nor Simon Mall refused to take any responsibility. Once the completion of rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehab included Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Counseling, and Occupational Therapy, Mary Ann felt confident to begin teaching part-time at several local colleges. Still, the effects of the TBI are forever present; although fine with the student and content, the details required by the administration always became an issue. She still struggles daily to overcome the TBI’s lasting effects in all parts of her life. Mary Ann began her part-time adjunct professor career after retiring from public schools. She took time off when she caught a severe case of COVID in 2021 and was hospitalized with pneumonia for several weeks; she has been followed by the Lung Nodule Center at Massachusetts General Hospital ever since. In September 2022, she began teaching in person at a small local college. Shortly after the start of the Fall semester, Mary Ann caught her second case of COVID, which settled into pneumonia again. During the 2022-2023 school year, she was hospitalized on four occasions with aspiration pneumonia each time the scenario worsened. Also, during the 2022-2023 school year, Mary Ann was hospitalized with three GI Bleeds, which required intervention. She has a bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand, with complicates all her medical issues. Chronic iron deficiency often results in iron infusions or blood transfusions related to the Von Willebrand Disease. She lost much time from work due to her illness, hospitalizations, and testing, especially during the Spring semester. She has had every test available to determine why there are so many GI Bleeds and the connection to all worsening pneumonia. She suffers from severe GRED. Her team of doctors at MGH has finally determined what is causing all of Mary Ann’s distress. She has a very large Hiatal Hernia that bleeds, leading to chronic anemia and severe GERD. Stomach acid is constantly washing up her esophagus. The stomach acid splashes into her lungs, causing damage and aspiration pneumonia. Her Pulmonologist recently told her that if the source of the problem is not corrected, it could be fatal. The diagnosis is a huge hiatal hernia that must be repaired. The stomach acid has destroyed the bottom of her esophagus, which must be reconstructed because of the severe inflammation. Much of her stomach must be removed due to inflammation and ulceration. Once again, due to illness, she has been forced to step down from the employment she loves. The rehabilitation period for this surgery is extensive, anywhere from three to six months if everything goes well. Mary Ann must be on liquids to soft foods for three to six months and do little to no lifting. Her life partner had a stroke five years ago and is physically disabled; as much as he wants to help, it is impossible. There is much to do in and around the house; they must hire people to help. Many trips to Boston are scheduled for pre-op, and many more will be scheduled for post-op. Long treatments & infusions that cause weakness are scheduled, and the ability to stay at one of the cooperating MGH hotels for a night of rest at a reduced rate is helpful before the long drive home. It is often difficult for Mary Ann to get a ride since her life partner no longer drives nor can walk. Mary Ann is fiercely independent but gets tired and a bit scared. This is a tough question, but if you could consider a small donation to assist in this difficult situation only to be used to cover uncovered medical expenses, trips to Boston, and assistance in and around the house would be greatly appreciated. Mary Ann has been a caretaker to her life partner since his stroke six years ago and will no longer be able to do the lifting involved in the role; she will need to bring in help for that role as well. Mary Ann has stepped down from all summer employment and will most likely be unable to return to work in the Fall. Every little bit will help toward any uncovered medical and household expenses during this difficult time. If you can afford to donate, please do: If you cannot, please send positive thoughts & vibes. I remain positive and believe in my team of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital. I am Thankful for the life I have and for friends like you. I love you ALL!! XOXO


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