Financial support is rolling in for a Vernon mother who will soon head east for procedures to treat a rare heart and lung illness.
Raffaella Lipscomb suffers from chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), a rare and life-threatening disorder caused by blood clots that prevent her from achieving full oxygen levels in her blood, causing shortness of breath and damaging the heart and lungs.
Lipscomb currently has just 65 per cent of her lungs’ functioning to process oxygen. For the past two and a half years she has lived with oxygen assistance 24-hours per day.
She was diagnosed with chronic illness in February 2019 and underwent a number of procedures in Vancouver and Toronto over the following seven months.
In November, she and her daughter will return to Toronto General Hospital so she can undergo multiple rounds of a cutting-edge specialized procedure that will open more areas of her pulmonary lung system to allow for more oxygen exchange from her lungs to her blood.
The goal is to get Lipscomb off the oxygen supply, or at least lower her daily oxygen requirements to allow for a better quality of life. There is only one doctor in the country who is qualified to perform the unique procedure, who is fortunately already working for Lipscomb’s team at Toronto General Hospital.
Lipscomb works as an artist at Vaz Art Gallery in Vernon. This year, because of the scheduling of her procedure, she won’t be in Vernon to run her business during the busy holiday season.
A GoFundMe campaign was created by Craig Moore, a family friend, and has so far raised just over $8,000 of its $10,000 goal to help pay for plane tickets to Toronto, accommodations, food expenses and transportation.
“The last thing the Lipscombs should be thinking about right now are the costs involved with this life-improving procedure for Raffaella,” the GoFundMe page reads. “We are reaching out to ask friends, family and the community to help a local Vernon family get through the coming months and to focus solely and 100 per cent on Raff’s journey to help her breathe easy again.”
To support the Lipscombs via GoFundMe, go here.