Editor’s Note: Britney, seen above in our lobby with one of our visiting therapy dogs, had been staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus the week leading up to Christmas because she had a problem with her gastric stimulator (pacemaker for her stomach). And she has juvenile arthritis. She and her family flew back home to Jackson, Mississippi. “Praying we don’t get bumped! And that we can get an Uber to get to the airport,” her mom Angela wrote. What follows is Angela’s description of her daughter’s visit.
Britney has been having horrible symptoms with bloating, nausea, some vomiting since November. Meaning the food isn’t moving in her stomach like it should. We were hoping that her pacemaker didn’t turn off. We were happy to find out it didn’t. The power just needed to be turned up. An easy fix as you see in the picture. But with that, it runs down the battery faster. When put into the pacemaker, the batteries are estimated to have a life of three years before needing to be changed, which takes surgery.
Now, with the voltage having to be turned up to get the food moving, we are looking at replacing the battery in about two to two and half years.
“The Ronald McDonald House, is a safe, warm place to stay with food and other accommodations to take away some worries!”
Britney was 99th adolescent to have this put in. Though these pacemakers have been available for adults for quite some time, everything is still on trial basis for Britney and this a new treatment for children. But without the pacemaker, Britney’s stomach does not work at all. And this remedy is life-long.
Britney’s care in Ohio is only made possible by so many resources! One, The Ronald McDonald House, is a safe, warm place to stay with food and other accommodations to take away some worries! The volunteers that come in and make the meal are so very detailed, making sure everything in their meal it 100% correct for us!
Families that know chronic illness know that holidays, snow days, and weekends are not a time to rest when it comes to the care of their children. Miracle Flights have gifted us with travel so Britney can get the care she needs at the only place in the U.S. where she can, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. So thankful we didn’t have to travel by car!
We will come back in March during spring break to check the battery and the voltage.
Again, another normal for families with chronically ill children. School breaks = hospital and doctor office visits.
Thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.
– The Giffords
You can read more about Britney’s healthcare journey on her mom’s blog by clicking here: BritneysBlessings.com