Ella Megan Smillie
Transplant Type: Intestine
Ella Smillie is awaiting a new lease on life. When she was only 23, she became ill with what she first thought was bronchitis. Unfortunately, her illness resulted in septic shock and multi-system organ failure. Although most of her organs recovered, she ended up with gastroparesis and small and large intestinal dysfunction and dysmotility. After a number of procedures to help her condition, she began total parenteral nutrition (TPN) a method of feeding that bypasses the gastrointestinal tract and allows fluids to be administered into a vein to provide the nutrients needed. Her doctors informed her she would be indefinitely TPN dependent. Unfortunately, the TPN led to liver damage, and her doctors in Oregon referred her to the transplant team at Cleveland Clinic. Doctors now say an intestinal transplant is critical.
During this difficult time, Ella is thankful for the love and support of her family and friends. She is the single mom of an 11 year old daughter, and her illness sometimes prevents her from being the active mother she longs to be. Ella’s parents are very supportive, but her health causes worry for the entire family. She looks forward to receiving a transplant that will allow her to be the best mother she can be. Ella wants nothing more than to be healthy so she can live an independent life with her daughter—she wants to live her life to the fullest and no longer fear death. But right now, she needs your help.
The average intestinal transplant costs more than $1.1 million, and that’s only the beginning. Even with health insurance, which will cover the cost of the transplant, she faces significant expenses related to the surgery. For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications. Post-transplant medications are very expensive, and they’re as critical to her survival as the transplant itself.
Ella has had to relocate across the country from Oregon to Ohio for evaluations. She currently lives 200 miles from the transplant center, and has to travel back and forth for appointments. When she receives her transplant, she will have to temporarily relocate for a minimum of three months while she recovers, incurring substantial expenses for travel, food, and lodging.
You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to NFT in honor of Ella. If you'd prefer to send your gift by mail, please send it to the NFT Ohio Transplant Fund,3249 W. Sarazens Circle, Suite 100, Memphis, TN 38125. Please be sure to write "in honor of Ella Smillie” on the memo line.
Thank you for your generosity!
Patient Health Institute: Cleveland Clinic Center for Gut Rehabilitation and Transplantation