LIMA — It is safe to say that this past year has been one of the most difficult years of Sarah’s life, with the single mother of three not sure if she would even see 2018.
“Every day, I get on my knees and thank God,” she said. “I’m thankful just to have a home.”
As 2016 was drawing to a close, life was looking good for Sarah, who was close to completing her education for a career in the medical field. She was enjoying life with her three children, Connor, 8, Rayne, 5, and Crystal, 3. However, that life took a sudden turn with what first appeared to be a minor ailment.
“I started having back pain,” she said. “It just kept getting progressively worse. I was in pain for six months.”
With no relief in sight, Sarah ended up seeing a specialist in Columbus, who immediately admitted her into a hospital, where she stayed for a week. The culprit, Sarah soon discovered, was osteomyelitis, a bone infection that centered in her spine, leaving four of her vertebrae weakened.
“I left Columbus with a PICC line [long-term intravenous line] going to my heart,” she said. “I ended up on 15 medications.”
The antibiotics left Sarah with difficulties digesting food, leading to other health difficulties, including weight loss. Even after the infection was eradicated, Sarah was weak, forced to use a walker for a time until she could regain her strength. While she is now able to walk unaided and regained some strength, the career she was close to attaining is now out of her reach.
“I can’t lift over 10 pounds,” she said.
In the mean time, bills continued to mount with child support payments as Sarah’s only source of income. Her priority now is keeping up on utilities and mortgage payments, not even thinking about the medical bills she is waiting to receive.
“I just have my list of priorities, and I keep going down the list as I pay them off,” she said.
At this point, gifts for the children are far down that list. However, after going through Sarah’s health scare, her children are just happy to have her around.
“I asked my son what he wanted for Christmas,” Sarah said. “He just said, ‘You.’”
The children could use shoes, winter boots and socks. Connor wears a size 3/4, Rayne wears a size 1 and Crystal wears a child size 10/11. Connor is also in need of additional Lima school uniforms, as his current uniforms are wearing out. He wears a size 8 in both pants and shirts. Sarah would also like to have some 50- to 100-piece Christmas puzzles to give the family something to do together.