My name is Verna. It means “born in spring”, but my birthday is in the fall. I’m short and skinny, but I have a lot of energy. I love traveling. I enjoy the outdoors and doing extreme adventures. I’ve gone paragliding, skydiving, bungee jumping, shark cage diving and lots more! I ate healthy, was always active and never had any serious health issues. That all changed last March 18, 2017.
I was rushed to emergency early morning and had an emergency hysterectomy in the evening. The next morning, my large intestine was removed and the doctors informed my sister, Debie, that I only have 10% chance to survive. This was reduced to 2% the following day. I was in life support. Doctors thought I would’t make it. I’ve been diagnosed with severe sepsis.
The next few days in the ICU proved to be more challenging. The sepsis resulted not only in removal of my large intestine, but all my limbs as well. My kidneys were severely damaged. My Intensivist thought that if I can make it, I will be on dialysis for the rest of my life. But after a couple of weeks, my kidneys started working and I didn’t require dialysis anymore. Now, my liver is recovering from the damage caused by the strong medications I had. My brain is now free of blood clots. The stroke and abscess didn’t damage my brain. I lost my hair and eyelashes but now they’re back. I lost my sight for few days but I can see again. I lost my arms and legs but I have prosthesis.
The day I was taken to emergency, friends came together to help me and my family in every way. They called themselves Team Verna. They are all busy people, but made time for the team. Every after work, they come to the hospital to encourage one another and pray for me. They fought the good fight of faith! Every one had their own assignment – handling legal matters, processing insurance claims, communicating to doctors to make sure they are working together as a team, chasing (almost harassing!) people for the accomplishment of so much paper works, monitoring my bank account and business, making sure I eat (I prefer home-cooked food rather than hospital food), comforting me with their great voices and instruments. Name it, they handled all my needs very well. I felt only LOVE and KINDNESS. Because of this, I was able to concentrate to become healthy again. Depression didn’t consume me.
It’s like I am a baby again – I could not do anything. Then I have to start “growing up” and learning how to do things again. I will grow again and develop and I shall be able to do everything. It’s not easy but with determination and dedication, it is possible. There is HOPE.
May the story of my life will inspire you to help others, to have the courage to embrace challenge and never quit.