Well, I use the term friend a little loosely here because “fellow Twitter-beast/writer who happens to be a generally good person” doesn’t really roll off of the tongue. I’d say both titles are applicable for the sake of brevity.
Heather, who I better know as MortuaryReport, is currently facing her third surgery in the past sixteen months. As someone who has only undergone a small handful of minor surgeries (and I’m not referencing those cosmetic procedures wherein I needed painfully infected ingrown toenails removed in time to look my best for bikini season), I can only imagine 1) how stressful this in terms of any anxiety relating to the surgeries, 2) how stressful this is financially (insurance isn’t going to cover everything), and 3) how stressful it is in relation to work and being off for extended periods of time to recover. I’ve asked people to donate to Kickstarters in the past, as they were things I supported (the Girls Make Games Kickstarter campaign springs to mind). This week has left me a little less capable of handling words well, and so I will politely borrow-steal Mort’s in this case.
In the summer of 2014, Heather was finally diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome after a decade of dealing with undiagnosed, life-altering chronic pain.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is a chronic, systemic, degenerative collagen disorder that causes the body to produce collagen incorrectly. An inherited disorder, it’s poorly diagnosed and often misunderstood. Collagen is present in every part of the body, from your skin to your organs to your joints. Incorrect collagen production can affect everything from your memory to your sleeping patterns.
Because of EDS, Heather deals with daily joint dislocations and subluxations. She has spinal disc degeneration, loridosis, herniated discs, and a spinal hemangioma. Her body falls apart on a daily basis. She works fulltime as a funeral director and apprentice embalmer, helping the community and giving her all to the families she serves.
In 2013, she underwent two surgeries on her tempromandibular joint after it closed locked in her sleep. A hard-working funeral director, she missed out on almost 6 weeks worth of work. On the heels of her surgery came an unexpected divorce, two moves, and the loss of her military health insurance.
In 2014, just 16 months later, Heather underwent a lapidus bunionectomy to correct joint degeneration in her left foot. After painfully removing chunks of bone and inserting two screws, she still can’t bear any weight on her left foot at all. In order to get around on one foot, she’s had to purchase multiple assistive devices.
EDS also contributes to slow healing, and the bones in her foot are not suturing together at a regular rate. In addition to having missed six weeks of work, Heather must now cover additional costs for a bone-growth stimulator to encourage her foot to properly heal.
Despite overwhelming challenges over less than two years and a diagnosis of a lifelong disease, Heather has met them head-on and as gracefully as possible. Any and all funds will go to recoup medical fees and surgical costs as well as close the gap from missing months of work on unpaid leave.
Please help Heather literally get back on her feet! – See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/robofoot-for-heather-ratcliff/232285#sthash.CQ0gHLRX.dpuf
That’s lifted directly from Heather’s YouCaring page, which actually automatically appended a link when copied and pasted (which is pretty neat, but also seems an awful lot like witchcraft). Be awesome and help out; even a little bit goes a long way, I’m sure, and it might even go some distance towards a karmic balancing-out of the more dubious things you, dear readers, are guilty of. You all know what I’m talking about.
The link again, just in case it’s needed: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/robofoot-for-heather-ratcliff/232285