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This fundraiser ended on 01/21/11

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Megan, age 20, had a tumor attached to her brain stem and spinal cord that resulted in her undergoing 4 surgeries in less than 2 months. Please help to offset some of this financial burden so that Megan can focus on a full recovery and life ahead!

 

My beautiful cousin Megan Whalen, age 20, was taken to the ER one night after falling while walking through the living room due to the entire left side of her body going numb. While in the ER it was discovered that Megan had a tumor attached to her brain stem and spinal cord which was causing her problems and numbness. A few month before, Megan had gone to the hospital due to unexplained headaches and pains but left with no known reason, but after this visit it was clear that Megan had a fast developing tumor that would need to be removed. 

At first this news was very hard to swallow, she is only 20! Then there is the bitter taste/thinking of "why her" and why does this always happen to the people who do not deserve it, although I would never wish it upon anyone but at these times we want to be selfish and do not want it hitting so close to home. This was very hard for me, Megan being younger than I am and having always been very close with her and growing up with her, and having all brothers, she was/is my sister and a best friend. Megan was always active in sports, social life and our family that she rarely took time to focus on herself. She worked at a daycare and as a waitress, and loved working hard, but had to quickly learn how to lean on others as they have her.

Megan was sent from Knoxville, TN to Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, TN, 3 hours away from home, family, and friends. Megan's first surgery was a very stressful time as well as probably the scariest time of her life. It was very difficult for Megan to leave her mom and dad in the waiting room and her enter the operating room. Megan's doctor described the surgery as "touch and go" the entire time. Megan had to be sitting up throughout the surgery because of her heart rate. After getting out of the surgery and overcoming the issues that arose during the surgery, Megan did surprisingly well. She was able to come home sooner than expected and had a very good outlook on recovering. Megan began feeling better and mentioned to her mom wanting to go back to work, which has now become a running joke, but after having the stitches taken out the incision began leaking fluid. Megan was sent back to Vandy and they drained fluid from her head and stitched her back up. After two more weeks, she was doing well again and "thinking about going back to work." I will never forget while Megan was at my house saying "Danielle, feel this" and put my hand on the back of her head. I had no idea how to respond to something that felt like a tennis ball inside her head. Sure enough, she was back at Vandy the next day.

This visit, the put a needle in he spine to try and drain the fluid that was now surrounding her brain. Although the drain was working, doctors realized this was something that was going to be an ongoing problem. Megan was informed of another needed surgery. The surgeon inserted a shunt that would continuously drain the fluid from her brain, down her spine and into her kidneys to be disposed of, and this would be a permanent device. This recovery was much more difficult than the last. Megan was not only dealing with physical pain, she began experiencing a great deal of emotional/depression pains. Megan was in bed for two days and not very responsive at all. She was able to start getting up and trying to get out of her slump but had difficulty with getting over heated. Megan began feeling better and was able to go to the store with her Aunt for groceries and mentioned to her mom she wanted to go back to work and sure enough the next day she began vomiting and experiencing a sever headache but the next day the symptoms were gone and it was thought to have been a stomach virus but then the 3rd day she was even worse and was taken to an ER in Knoxville, only to be taken back to Vandy after finding out that the shunt was not working properly.

This visit would be the most discouraging after finding out that she was going to need not 1, but 2 surgeries. Megan had developed infection around the shunt and went into surgery on July 20th, 2010 to remove the shunt and leave an open section in her head to have a drain inserted to drain out all of the infection. She would then have another surgery on July 23rd, 2010 in order to insert a different shunt on the other side of her head equalling to 4 surgeries in less than 2 months! Megan is a strong young woman and has a great deal of people who love and care for her but was experiencing pain that was often unbearable and very unexpected as well as expenses that were starting to become unbearable and also were very unexpected. 

This is where YOU fit in:

Megan's insurance does not cover very much of all of the ER and hospital visits let alone all of the 4 surgeries that she will have gone through and is already expecting a very large bill. Not to mention that Megan and both of her parents have not been able to work due being 3 hours away form home, but this does not stop the bills of daily living expenses from coming. After this last surgery Megan will need much more intensive care which is going to almost double the expenses she has already racked up and at first he mom will still not be able to return to work. Megan will need an in home nurse which insurance will pay up to $500 for but this will not even cover half and she will have meds that will cost $200/day that insurance will not even touch. We are raising money to try and offset/assist with not only the medical bills but the day to day living expenses/needs. 

My goal is that Megan will be able to focus on recovery with family and friends around her without the constant worry of these bills. I want to see her back to the active, loving daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, sister, aunt, friend and SUPERWOMAN that we all know her to be! 

~ ALL of your generous contributions are greatly appreciated, and ANYTHING can help! Thank you so much for taking the time to read Megan's story and I hope that it finds you well. 

**If you have any questions, suggestions, just need to contact a representative for the family or would prefer to make a donation by mail please contact Danielle Morgan (Megan's cousin) at 865-254-8996 or by email at cmorga18@yahoo.com. -- I will try and keep the page updated with her progress and how much your contributions have helped. You can also contact me by Facebook. 

 

 

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