This is a desperate appeal to anyone that is able to help us Save Savannah.
Savannah is a beautiful 22 year old girl from South Africa. She was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes at age 8. Although a very hard disease to manage - she did her best and was a perfectly normal fun loving young adult until tragedy struck on the 16th of November 2016.
Savannah suffered a prolonged hypoglycemic seizure in the early hours of the morning during her sleep. Her sugar levels had dropped drastically overnight causing a severe seizure. When we found her in bed she was already in a coma.
We rushed her to hospital where her seizures continued for the next few days. She was put on life support and went through numerous MRI's to establish if there was damage to her brain.
We received the shocking news that she had in fact suffered brain damage to the Hippocampus and Cerebral Cortex.
Her Neurologist and Physician concurred that she may only have a 50% chance of waking up.
She spent the next 2 weeks on life support being tube fed and constantly monitored for slight changes in brain chemistry. Eventually the decision was made to put her on steroids to help reduce the swelling on her brain, even though this may exacerbate her diabetes.
The steroids worked and slowly she began to surface from her coma - but she was different.
She woke up very confused and almost apologetic in her very limited gestures.
She was immediately placed on anti epilepsy medication to prevent further seizures.
Because of all the mediacations to keep her brain alive, Savannah became a Brittle Diabetic, rendering her initial condition almost impossible to control. Compunded with the brain injury we soon came to the conclusion that she would never function as a diabetic without 24hour care.
In ICU she had a full time caregiver who monitored her constantly and as she gradually improved although speech and memory were noticeably impaired.
She underwent physio on a regular basis and started walking soon after, although, basic tasks such as going to the toilet and eating we still difficult for her.
The decision was taken to move her into a general ward as she no longer needed the high care she was receiving and her medical insurance refused to cover her for a prolonged stay.
Savannah spent the next month in hospital with the hope that we would see some glimmer of recovery, which we did, although she had regressed to a child-like state of a 12yr old, and still unable to perform the skills needed to facilitate her being discharged.
The doctors at this point couldn't help her as she had 'plateaued' leaving us with making the decision to bring her home.
We had a caregiver during the day and shared the nightly tasks of maintaining her diabetes, cleaning and keeping her safe. This eventually took its toll on our jobs and general day to day functioning.
She's beautiful, such a warm heart and so willing to help with everything. She drifts off after 10 minutes of stimulation and it's heart-breaking getting her back to a point that she can 'see you' and communicate.
She is becoming more limited as time goes on.
Six months down the line we have realised that without constant Occupational Therapy and ultimately a home for her with people suffering from similar conditions, she might become totally lost.
We cannot afford the costs. (R40 000,00 or $3000 odd per month) is totally out of our reach.
Experts assure us that if she receives the care she needs NOW, she has a good chance of recovering to a point she might one day be able to administer her insulin herself and contribute once again to society as she so desperately wants to do.
PLEASE, SHE NEEDS YOUR HELP
We want to raise money for her to get the therapy she needs and hopefully buy enough time for us to seek out a suitable home for Savannah, perhaps a home with others in a similar situation so she doesn't feel so alone.
When we look in her eyes, all you see is sadness. We ask her how she's feeling and she always answers "I'll be ok"..... It kills me to see her this way, and if I had the means I would give it all to see her happy.
My dad spent 4 months at her bedside, sleepless nights testing her every two hours. Making sure she felt wanted and loved. For those of you who know, she did this for him after he was shot and spent two years immobile.
She has such a lot to give, she loves everyone and only wants to 'fix' everything.
Please share this campaign, we are looking for DONATIONS to get the help she NEEDS.
The money will be used for Occupational Therapy, specialised diabetic monitoring equipment, a secure roof over her head, special dietary needs and as much remedial care available.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. No amount of kindness will be overlooked.
- Jess and Jason Drake