In 1990, just after celebrating her wedding to long haul trucker Gary, Carla Elam was stunned to learn she had bone cancer. Carla knew there had to be another option to the immediate amputation of her left leg and she found it. She convinced the doctors at Vanderbilt University that they were wrong-- she was not “too old” or “too fat” for limb sparing surgery which uses an implant to replace the cancerous bone.Carla successfully went through a grueling year long medical regimen and continued to live a full life that ultimately included custody of two grandchildren. Life was great. Cancer rechecks were negative. Even a problem with the implant in her leg was handled by inserting a metal plate. All was well until last December when her leg gave way at a wedding.
The metal plate had broken. This time more extensive surgery was needed but again Carla came through without incident. Or so she thought. In May she believed she had food poisoning. The admitting hospital couldn’t find a cause. After being transferred to a bigger facility, her kidneys shut down and the prognosis was grim. Doctors then discovered the cause: a staph infection had set into her leg. If they did not immediately amputate, it was likely she would not live through the night. And if they did, it was likely that the cut would be so high she might not be able to use a prosthesis.
As Gary said, “Talk about a will to live. She’s always been a fighter and that’s why I married her.” Not only did she come through, but her will to walk was so great that the hospital staff revised their conclusion—Carla would walk again with the proper prosthesis. Within 19 days she was at home, reorganizing her life.
That’s when Carla and Gary discovered that Carla’s ability to walk involved more than her steadfast desire. The prosthesis she would need, a computerized marvel from the Otto Bock Company known as a C-Leg, costs $50,000. Her insurance will not cover it. Carla is determined to be walking but without your help, it’s out of her reach. She’s ready to do all the hard work if you can do the easy part: Please send a donation to Limbs For Carla.
Whatever you can give will make a big difference.
Donate online safely through PayPal at their site LimbsForCarla.Org or mail contributions to:
Limbs for Carla
P.O. Box 398
Potts Camp, MS 38659
(If you'd like a written receipt, please include a SASE)
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