National Mobility Awareness Month Partners:
VMI

Linda Barberic

Cleveland, OH

Entry Photo for Linda Barberic - Cleveland, OH

My sister Elaine Barberic Sudina is such a fighter. She has struggled with diabetes since her teens, and lately, the disease is getting the best of her.
In 2005, she went into renal kidney failure, and dialysis was no longer an option for her. Her life was in danger and I gave her one of my kidneys–it was the best day of my life! One year later she received a pancreas from a cadaver and now she is no longer insulin dependent.
Elaine lost her right eye to blindness and now has a prosthetic eye.

As do many diabetics, she suffered from multiple foot ulcers and, last year, one infected her bone. She could not beat the infection and needed to have her right leg amputated below her knee. After months of rehab, she was just starting to walk on her prosthetic leg–it was amazing and we were all so hopeful for her future!

Then, only a few months later–this past August–she had a severe brain hemorrhage. It took the rest of her sight in her remaining eye, and paralyzed her left arm and leg.

For the first few months, Elaine needed help doing everything from eating and drinking to sitting up in bed. She fought and got stronger every day, until eventually she was moved to a skilled nursing facility, where she currently resides.
In rehab, Elaine was starting to learn to work her legs and to walk. However, her Medicare physical therapy coverage ran out and she no longer qualifies for any further physical or occupational therapy. Sadly, her left arm is permanently paralyzed and her vision is also gone: she is now completely blind.

Elaine is my angel and is surrounded by so many people who love and want to help her. The funding will be used to get her a wheelchair van, as she currently needs to be lifted in and out of her wheelchair for transportation. This will allow for my parents, family and her fiancée to get her around. We would also like to bring in our own physical therapist to work with her to regain any ability to walk or stand on her own.

Thank you everyone from deep in my heart – I love you, and we all love Elaine.
Linda Barberic (Elaine’s sister and kidney donor)