After reaching out to the internet, a woman who has been bedridden for over a decade is now able to visit a private specialist.
Kirsty Keep of Managravet, Maidstone, England, has been in and out of hospitals since she was bitten by an insect when she was 12 years old, Kent Online reports. Now 23, Keep has been diagnosed with lupus, anti-c1q Antibodies, and hypocomplementemic urticarial vasculitis syndrome, and has been admitted to the hospital for weeks at a time.
However, due to her severe and unexplained symptoms, her family believes she may be suffering from other conditions.
“My bones feel like they’re being snapped and my muscles ripped,” she said from her hospital bed, according to Kent Online.
In addition to symptoms such as face paralysis and chronic pain, Keep started having seizures 18 months ago.
Doctors have prescribed her a variety of drugs over the years, such as steroids, anti-inflammatory injects and chemotherapy, but nothing has been able to successfully suppress her symptoms.
"When she has bad days you feel like you're watching her go,” Keep's mom, Theresa, said.
Keep has asked her mother to take her to a Swiss clinic which allows assisted-suicide procedures.
"That's not something you want to hear from your daughter,” Theresa said. “You're heartbroken every day.”
Keep’s sister, Chloe posted a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a private specialist instead. The post includes a screenshot of an Instagram post in which Keep wrote that she was “alive but not living":
I’m suffering so bad, I’m in chronic pain every day. I'm always sick, I’ve lost 10kg in just over a year. [...] I’m tired and I don’t know how much more my body can handle. [...] I don’t know what to do next. I’ve tried so many things and am willing to try one more thing to save my life. My family and anyone else unable to live because of this awful illness we know nothing about. So I was wondering if anyone could help in any way.
The page raised over $13,000 in 15 days, almost twice the amount of the initial goal.
“My mail is going crazy,” Chloe wrote on the GoFundMe page on Feb. 23. “I will sit down with Kirsty and reply to you all thank you all for you kind words.”