One man has raised over $16,000 in two weeks for his wife who is direly ill in hospital. Luke Kelly, originally from Swindon, England, found his wife Alyson unresponsive in their California home in June of this year. 53-year-old Alyson was immediately brought into hospital via ambulance where doctors fought to keep her alive, placing her on life support. The medical staff at Mercy Hospital of Folsom told her husband that Alyson had succumbed to a severe Urinary Tract Infection, resulting in septic shock. Although she woke up one week later, the battle was - and still is - far from over.
According to Luke, his wife's medical history has been complex over the years. Alyson lost an astonishing 250lbs over a decade ago, but despite maintaining a healthy weight ever since, she has been left with lasting health issues - some of which are life-threatening. As well as sepsis, Alyson has non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver due to residual fatty deposits. The cirrhosis causes toxic levels of ammonia to rise throughout the body, and in some cases, the condition can be fatal. On July 19th, Alyson was transported to Westview Healthcare in Auburn California to undergo skilled nursing and physical therapy. Sadly, the ammonia levels in her system continue to rise, and she is unable to walk due to septic shock and 60lbs of excess fluid in her legs.
The Things had the pleasure of speaking with Luke after learning of his story on social media.
"Alyson is the love of my life," Luke told us. "We met online in a UK chat room in the late 90's when everything was dial-up and you needed a disc to get online. We moved from the web to the telephone - sometimes we would talk for 12 hours straight. We did the long distance thing and in 2003 we married. This year on New Year's Eve it will be our 15th wedding anniversary."
Thanks to the treatment she has received, Alyson is getting stronger but still requires round the clock care. While Luke has health insurance with his employer, the couple has been denied funding on two occasions. The insurance company says that as Alyson's care is likely to be long-term, it is not covered. Luke is appealing the decision, but in the meantime, it's costing $15,000 a month to get Alyson the care she deserves. Faced with no other option, Luke set up a Gofundme page to try and raise the money they so desperately need to give his wife a fighting chance. Since launching the online fundraiser just over two weeks ago, 179 people have donated, totaling more than $16,000 of a substantial target.
"I have been, and continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude," Luke says of the Gofundme campaign. "It's very humbling and encouraging to know that people genuinely care. So much so that they'll part with their hard earned money to help someone in a time of great need."
As for the future, Luke doesn't ask for much - simply the chance to live his life with Alyson by his side. "I just hope that she will walk again and be able to take care of herself while I'm at work," explains the Englishman. "We have so much living yet to do, so many memories to collect together."
You can donate to Alyson's cause here.