Julia Domenick has spent nearly five years caring for her husband Andrew “Drew” after he suddenly became ill. “Drew just had his 50th birthday in rehab! We never thought that he would make it to that birthday. But we feel very blessed that he has!”
In October 2009, Drew and Julia visited Las Vegas, and a week later, Drew came down with bacterial pneumonia. From there, his health quickly went downhill. He went into atrial fibrillation, septic shock, and his kidneys shut down, causing his extremities to begin to die. “The results of the pneumonia etc. rendered him with end-stage renal disease and on dialysis the rest of his life. He was 45 years old at the time — which most likely saved his life.”
A year later, Drew had recovered enough to attempt a return to work at the sign shop where he’d been employed for 15 years, but the owner informed him that because he couldn’t afford his healthcare, Drew would have to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.
Hoping to be eligible for a kidney transplant, Drew went to the Cleveland Clinic, where instead, he was diagnosed with common variable immune deficiency, or CVID. Because his body couldn’t fight off infection, he now has to receive intravenous immunoglobulin transfusions every month. Julia said, “It was also determined that Drew would most likely not be a good candidate for a kidney transplant because of the CVID.”
Last fall, Drew’s hips began to hurt, and he thought he’d just pulled a muscle. After a series of tests, however, his rheumatologist diagnosed him with avascular necrosis, or AVN.
As if things couldn’t get worse, because of his compromised immune system, while Drew and Julia were on vacation in 2013, he contracted listeria caused him to get meningitis. Again, he was placed on life support. “When he was finally stabilized, I was able to arrange transportation [at an upfront cost of thousands of dollars] to get him home to Ohio,” Julia said. It was a 650-mile ambulance ride.
“He will most likely be in a wheelchair the rest of his life. But we’re OK with that because he’s alive. It’s been a true test of many things, especially faith and love. I visit him almost daily — and have spent all holidays with him and not family. Most people would be discouraged, but his spirit and his strong will to live is an inspiration.”
See the original article detailing this heart-tugging story of a CVID patient and caregiver, reported by Ohio.com
The cover image was obtained from Ohio.com.