FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A Fort St. John woman is raising money for a friend after they spent over seven months in the hospital due to severe complications that reportedly arose from surgery.
Cassandra Dumont said she started a GoFundMe page for her friend, 30-year-old Misti Collinson, so her friend’s family can renovate their home to make it more accessible now that Collinson is in a wheelchair.
Dumont told Energeticcity.ca that Collinson suffers from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, which caused cysts to form on Collinson’s ovaries.
According to the Mayo Clinic, PCOS is a condition that causes small sacs of fluid (cysts) to develop on the outer edge of the ovary. It’s not known what exactly causes PCOS, but the clinic states on its website that early diagnosis and treatment, along with weight loss, could lower the risk of long-term complications, which include type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
“She had cysts on her ovaries that kept rupturing in her abdomen. She went for one surgical procedure to remove some of them, and that went okay,” Dumont recalled.
Collinson underwent her first surgery on her right ovary in Nov 2018. She had a second surgery on the same ovary a month later, finally having it removed in January 2019.
After her second surgery, she experienced complications, including cellulitis and one of her incisions splitting, causing an infection.
Collinson also began suffering from chronic pain in her abdomen and lower back. In July 2019, she was told that her bloodwork showed there was an infection somewhere in her body, but hospital staff were unable to pinpoint where it was.
She was diagnosed with sepsis in late January 2022 and released from the Fort St John Hospital on February 5th, 2022, after her swelling went down. However, it returned nine days later.
Nine months later, on November 10th, 2022, Collinson was rushed to the Fort St. John Hospital. Dumont said by November 12th, Collinson’s sepsis had attacked many of the organs in her abdomen. She then experienced heart failure and was “clinically dead for six minutes.”
“They were able to resuscitate her and bring her back, and then that’s when they stuck her in an induced coma to give her body time to heal,” Dumont said.
She was then transferred to Kelowna, and Dumont said Collinson began to recover until about two weeks later when she went into multi-system failure.
Collinson was stabilized and has since been diagnosed with diabetes. According to Dumont’s GoFundMe page, her heart has healed, but the bottom back wall is permanently scarred and will require monitoring for the rest of her life.
The page adds that Collinson still suffers from “brain damage and total nerve damage to her left leg,” reportedly all caused by her sepsis.
“The brain damage will also need to be monitored as it’s the start of something, but they’re not sure what yet. They said her white matter is greater than others her age. She has lesions, clusters, and chronic migraines.
She also experiences memory loss, brain fog, and spots in her vision.
Dumont said Collinson was told it could be the start of Multiple Sclerosis or that she’s having mini strokes and not realizing it.
According to the GoFundMe page, Collinson still suffers from sepsis, and her foot is at risk of becoming necrotic if an issue is not caught right away. She will reportedly be discharged this week.
“Luckily, the doctor this week is wonderful and has been on top of things. She really just needs a voice here, some support. We desperately need help to get her home. She just feels like no one’s listening, and that’s how we ended up in this whole mess,” Dumont’s GoFundMe page said.
Renovations required for Collinson’s home include lifts to get her into her house and to her basement, a walk-in bath with a shower chair, and an adjustable bed with something to assist her with getting in and out. She will also require an electric wheelchair.
She may also need financial assistance if she is sent out of Fort St. John to see a specialist.
Those interested in making a donation can visit Dumont’s GoFundMe page or contact Dumont through the page to arrange alternative contribution options.