Please help an atheist family in need...

Ella had a rough summer; she’d been throwing up every morning. At first, we thought it was anxiety from leaving her friends at school, moving, and knowing that she’d be starting at a new school in the fall. (She had a brief unrelated similar event in the past) – We immediately took her to the doctor, and had every test run – Blood tests, sonograms, they tested for celiacs, they thought it maybe acid reflux; we even saw a psychologist thinking it may be emotional. After 2 months of sleepless nights and countless appointments, one doctor said that the only other thing she could diagnose may be a brain tumor and suggested a CT scan. In denial we put it off for a week or so. Finally a family member said ‘Get that kid in for a CT scan.’ We all agreed – and that’s when we saw the mass in her brain.

The next day we drove to oakland (an hour or so south of us) and came to see the neurosurgeons and had the MRI. The doctors gave her numerous hand/eye tests and said that everything checked out perfectly; if they hadn’t seen the MRI, they would have never made the diagnosis. She had a large tumor in the 4th ventricle resting against her brain stem, blocking spinal fluid. The doctors had Ella take a steroid for a week to reduce swelling, and last tuesday they performed brain surgery. The surgeons removed almost all of the tumor, leaving only microscopic cells that will hopefully be killed with radiation and chemotherapy. The doctors thought she’d be up and talking within a day or so, but did warn of us the risks and the remote chance of coma. Well, Ella is that rare case.

The day after surgery, the doctors noticed a large blood clot forming and had to go back in for an emergency surgery. The next mornings scan showed there was still blood pooling, so they wentback in for a third surgery. She is currently in ICU, and may be there for weeks. She’s on a ventilator and monitors. She was more stable over the weekend, but still mostly in a coma. She was able to open her eyes a few times when asked, and wiggle her fingers and toes, but this morning she was not responding. This evening, however, she did open her eyes and move her arm.

The doctors told us a few days ago that she had turned the corner, and now they say she is on the ‘wave of recovery’ sometimes up, sometimes down. It’s so hard to sit and watch and be so helpless.

Ella is such a strong girl. It’s hard, but I must stay Hopeful and picture her pulling through this event and waking up so we can go through the steps to get her better together.

-Deb, Glen, Alycia & Mark


All donations go to the Madden and Stewart families to off-set hotel, food and medical costs. Any amount helps!

Please send checks to Deborah and Glen Stewart:

11002 Peaks Pike Rd. Sebastopol, CA, 95472

Submitted by Sapient on Wed, 2010-09-29 21:11.