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This fundraiser ended on 11/21/11

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The family and friends of the Keith family are uniting to raise money to help with their expenses~ Please help if you can!!

Robert began having problems with his right leg in January 2011. There was tingling and swelling in the right calf and ankle. The family doctor had a doppler ultrasound done to rule out blood clots- and there were none. Since Robert had ongoing back problems since 1988, and has a morphine infusion pump, the family doctor referred him to his neurosurgeon.

The neurosurgeon ordered an MRI which did not show anything of consequence- so it was decided the problems came from scar tissue from previous back surgeries. The neurosurgeon suggested Robert consider a spinal cord stimulator which is implanted in the back. Since Robert's condition was worsening, he went through a trial period in March and the actual surgery in April. It was met with limited success, and the pain control was never satisfactory even with additional meds.

The family was very frustrated in seeing Robert continue to decline. The family doctor and the family continued to look for answers through more tests and possible second opinions. Due to the stature of the neurosurgeon in the medical community, it was very difficult to get anyone to agree to do a second opinion.

Meanwhile Robert continued to suffer and decline. Everyday tasks such as bathing or walking became extremely difficult if not impossible. And he continued to suffer with excruciating pain that no one could diagnose or control.

Finally, on July 21- a neurosurgeon new to the area agreed to do a second opinion. He conferred with the family doctor by phone and within minutes an ambulance was dispatched to the family's home. Robert was taken to the hospital ER, and tests were begun. Within two hours, the family was told Robert had a mass on his leg, lungs, kidneys and colon. Further testing would show that the adeno carcinoma began in the colon and had spread to the other three sites. The prognosis was grim- no cure, treatment would be for pain control only. Survival rate is slim.

The leg pain was coming from a tumor that had actually broken the leg. On July 28, he had a hip replacement and partial removal of the tumor. Due to severe blood loss, not all of the tumor could be removed. After one round of palliative chemotherapy (an effort to shrink tumors) and nearly a month in the first hospital, Robert was transferred to another hospital for palliative radiation.

It was hoped that the radiation would shrink the tumor in the leg to relieve some of the pain. However, the positioning for the radiation proved to be much too painful for Robert and since there were no guarantees it would help with the pain Robert decided to stop all treatments and go into hospice care.

So after about two weeks in the second hospital, Robert was transferred to an in-patient hospice house where making the patient comfortable is the primary focus. The doctor was much more successful in relieving the pain than any other efforts. However, Medicare does not pay for longterm in-patient care, and the family had to arrange for transfer to a nursing home.

Robert was transferred to a nursing home that accepts Medicaid and is willing to do hospice care including allowing the family to stay with him round-the-clock.

Since July 21, Robert has been in two hospitals, an in-patient hospice house and now a nursing home. His wife and son have of course been with him through it all- but have also had their share of drama otherwise.

In early September, both were laid off. Early October they were notified that their landlord had defaulted on his mortgage, and the property was now under the control of the bank which meant an unexpected move. They were blessed to find another place in the desired location with such short notice

Through it all, his wife Harriet and son Gabe have remained positive and are an inspiration to all who know them!!
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