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August 24, 2014
Bisrat (Haven) is 22 a years old young woman who has been hospitalized since April, 2014, for an Autoimmune disease called Lupus. Prior to her diagnose, Haven was a senior fulltime pre-med Neuroscience major student at University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles. She was supposed to have been graduated on May 16, 2014, and had a plan to apply for a medical school. Instead of taking a break for the summer (2014), Haven was registered to take MCAT courses right after her graduation (May 16), then take the MCAT exam in July of 2014. She was planning to apply for a medical school by September 2014 and to do the research at UCLA.
Unfortunately, two weeks before her final exams, she got ill and had to take incomplete for all of her classes, and forced to cancel the MCAT courses and MCAT exam as well.
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells and tissues and it is characterized by periodic episodes of inflammation of a joint, tendons, other connective tissues, and organs.
Haven is the type of daughter any mother would love to have. Until the time she felt ill, she was healthy, cheerful and active in school and community activities, including in volleyball, swimming and dance. In fact, if she didn’t have schoolwork or sport practices, she would volunteered at Food Bank or in the Community Health Services. Haven has always been considerate to her brothers and the entire family. She has always been well liked by her teachers and administrators not only for her outstanding school performance but also for her superb social skills. In addition to her top score in SAT exam, it was the combination of these desirable qualities many prestigious universities accepted her application. Haven chose USC where she attended for the last 4 years until she became hospitalized in April 21, 2014.
Even though she was taking full-time pre-med courses and involved in cancer cell research LAB at USC, Haven managed to get involved in other activities including in teaching 4th and 5th grade children in LA. In order to pay her housing monthly bills, she took an RA job at her dorm where she was responsible of managing student residents.
Haven has always spent her spring and summer breaks doing something meaningful. In May 2013, for instance, she joined a program called “Volunteers around the World” and went to Dominican Republic to serve in a hospital.
In summer 2013 she was given medical research opportunity through USC and went to Ethiopia, volunteered at Ayder hospital, Mekelle for two months. As it was her first visit to Ethiopia, she met many medical students, learned the immense medical need of the people and inspired by the selfless medical doctors. This was well documented in the research paper she presented to her University.
During her last semester, Haven experienced acute joint pain in her wrists and ankles for days. On April 7, 2014, she called home at 2 am to tell us she wasn’t feeling good, brought her home and advised her to rest. As her health was not improving we took her to ER several times, but the doctors couldn’t figure out. It was the most horrifying experience for the whole family to witness almost every part of her body was attacked.
On April 21, 2014, she got admitted to the hospital had seizure and aspirated pneumonia involving her right lung and the doctors had be put her in breathing tube. It took almost a month to treat the pneumonia. A team of doctors at UCSD were involved trying to figure out the right diagnose because Lupus is difficult to screen, unpredictable and it can attack any part of the body.
Since then she had been at the intensive care unit (UCSD Medical Center 200 West Arbor Dr. Hillcrest, San Diego California, 92103) for 4 months.
Current Health Issues
Health Issue Date Noted
Positive Coombs test 04/25/2014
Microcytic anemia 04/25/2014
Pneumonia involving right lung 04/25/2014
Lupus cerebritis/autoimmune disease 04/26/2014
Lactic acidosis 05/03/2014 & 05/03/2014
Acute blood loss anemia 05/04/2014
Tachycardia 05/08/2014 & 05/08/2014
Acute respiratory failure 05/09/2014
Neuropathy 05/09/2014, 05/12/2014 & 05/19/2014
Dispute all the complication Haven had gone through, the Medical team have done all they could to save her life and now she is out of danger. However, her illness requires the continuous medical care and management, which requires resources.
Currently, Haven is in the hospital receiving therapeutic treatment. Because of the seriousness of her illness, she will require longer therapeutic treatment after she is discharged. Lupus requires continuous attention. As the disease has affected her body, she is unable to move her lower body, which requires 24 hours care. In addition to the therapeutic work, she will have to undergo surgery in the future on three of her fingers that were damaged by the disease.
We have genuine limitation in providing the needed medical, and other supports our daughter needs. For this reason, we have no one to turn our face to but to our community. While we are elated to see our daughter’s health improving, our inability to meet her continuous care has made spend sleepless nights.
The estimated recovery time is between 6 months to a year, which includes many hours of intense therapy. The estimated expenses required to resume her therapy and healthy living after inpatient rehab is $65,952 for a year.