$5,665 of $50,000
67 donations

This fundraiser ended on 07/15/10

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Jeff Manzer is still recovering from multiple brain surgeries and is unable to work. With his savings exhausted, our goal is to help Jeff with medical bills and allow him to recover without financial stress.

Join us to help Jeff Manzer… traumatic brain injury survivor, family, friend, and Brother in Chi Psi.

Over the past few weeks Jeff has exhausted his savings and incurred "survival debt.” He is still recovering from multiple brain surgeries and is unable to work. Our goal is to help Jeff with medical bills, allow him to recover without financial stress, and to give Jeff the gift of time to eventually seek employment. (*Jeff can also accept donations / gifts directly should you prefer not to be charged giveforward's fee... feel free to contact the Manzer's for contact information)

Jeff’s “journey” started on the evening of April 15th (Tax Day) with “the worst headache in his life.” After checking emails at his computer, he stood up and the pain of the headache literally made him fall to the floor. When he was able to focus he called his dad and I, and we all thought that perhaps he was suffering from some kind of migraine or possibly a recurrence of spinal meningitis that he had in 2001.

Up to this point, Jeff was the healthiest he had been in a long time. He had been working out with the P90-X exercise system and eating carefully, losing about 15-18 lbs since the Christmas holidays. Due to the pain of the headache, Jeff couldn’t really drive to the Urgent Care clinic until the next morning of April 16th (about 18 hrs later). Upon reflection, we are grateful he didn’t die from the aneurysm that night.

After driving himself to the clinic, they promptly sent him to Littleton Adventist Hospital. There they have a good neurological unit that discovered and diagnosed a brain aneurysm. The doctors scheduled an angiogram where they discovered they could not “coil” the aneurysm because of size, shape and location. So, about 8 hours later, they performed the 1st craniomoty on Jeff’s left side and “clipped” his aneurysm. The surgery went well. They cut in at they hairline of his left side above his the middle of his forehead to just about his ear. They cut through the bone, moved the front lobe, worked on the arteries, put everything back, and stitched it up his head. As you can imagine, brain surgery can be quite the traumatic experience.

Days went by until we arrived at the hospital to find Jeff walking down the hall coming back from his first shower! You can't imagine our joy to see him walking by himself. He was smiling a mile wide and so happy to have accomplished this big feat. His frustration and anger at being here were to be expected. At 25, he didn't expect any limitations or to experience a life trauma.

On April 24th, Jeff woke up to his nose draining brain and spinal fluid. Apparently the surgery had cut in to his sinus cavity and he needed to go in for his craniotomy #2 on April 26th. The 2 mm hole in his sinus caused by his first surgery was now sealed.

Jeff was released from the hospital on April 28th and was cleared to fly to California on April 30th for rest and recuperation. Though two days later on May 2nd, he could not get out of bed and had a temperature of 104. We rushed him to the emergency room at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, California, to discover that he had spinal meningitis. Jeff then went into another emergency surgery, craniotomy #3 to address a severe infection and bacterial spinal meningitis. This issue resulted in the need for 6 weeks of IV antibiotics and hospitalization for another 3 weeks.

Just as we thought he was finally getting better, Jeff had a seizure on May 8th (6 days after his 3rd surgery). The seizure caused the loss of use of his right arm and hand, as well as inability to speak. As a result, Jeff struggled to text message and email, which had been his lifelines. To help regain his abilities, therapists have been working with him daily.

As things progressed, we thought he would be moved to the physical therapy floor of the hospital. Unfortunately, his neurosurgeon informed us that Jeff had another pocket of infection that was putting pressure on his brain. So on May 13th Jeff had craniotomy #4.

After three weeks in the California hospital (5 total weeks), we decided to take Jeff to our home for recovery and therapy. Since then, his condition has vastly improved and continues to do so daily.

We don't know any long-term details yet, nor do we know when Jeff will be able to move back to Colorado and resume his independent life. We do know he will still have a few weeks of antibiotics to fight the infection.

After losing 50 lbs. since Christmas time, we are working on eating again and rebuilding his strength and abilities. Jeff has an incredible fighting, independent spirit, and so much hope. He continues to demand control of his life and medical care. Each day we have little victories for Jeff, which are reminders that he is on his way to being his own person again.

We are also grateful that we have family and friends in so many places all over the world. Over the past few weeks, we’ve received text messages, phone calls, and facebook postings from people everywhere. It has been appreciated more than we can express. Thank you, again, for your continued support in so many beautiful ways.

Thank you,
Susan Manzer

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