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Room to improve
Disabled Sylvania woman asks for help to expand her home to meet her needs
W 071416 MYLES YOUNG 06
While living with multiple disabilities due to glomerulonephritis can be taxing, Myles remains optimistic and smiles a lot. "It could be worse," she said, while still hoping for some assistance to improve her quality of life.

After a lifelong struggle with a debilitating disease, Sylvania woman April Myles had to move in with her mother. However, their small house cannot sufficiently accommodate her disabilities, so the family is seeking help to expand the home.

Myles has glomerulonephritis, a disorder of the glomeruli, clusters of microscopic blood vessels in the kidneys with small pores through which blood is filtered, according to www.merckmanuals.com.

The disease is "characterized by body tissue swelling (edema), high blood pressure, and the presence of red blood cells in the urine" and is caused by "a complication of a throat or skin infection with streptococcus" or other types of bacteria such as staphylococcus and pneumococcus, viral infections such as chicken pox, or parasitic infections such as malaria, according to the website. It also can be caused by vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation) and immune disorders, among other conditions.

Myles' mother, Gail Young, said the kidney disease has posed a lifelong struggle for her 37-year-old daughter, though she has fought it with faithful determination.

The battle began when doctors gave Myles, then 10, a "one-time treatment" they hoped would cure her ills.Unfortunately, the treatment failed and caused high blood pressure, so Myles began to undergo dialysis at home, then at a medical center.

"April has tremendous stage renal failure," Young said.

The next step was a kidney transplant, and for years, the family hoped their troubles were over - but they were not. The kidney failed, and it was back to dialysis.

A second transplant when Myles was in college lasted only one week before she developed an internal bleed that led to a four-day induced coma while doctors repaired the problem, Young said.

"But the Lord saw fit to let her live," she said.

The challenges were far from over, however. Myles eventually developed difficulties with walking due to bone damage caused by prescription steroids, Young said. She later required a colostomy bag after becoming septic with an intestinal blockage. She also had to have a hip replaced.

Eventually the colostomy was reversed, but more was to come.

"Due to years of dialysis, April developed vascular disease, which affects the blood vessels in the lower limbs. She had to have her left leg amputated, and there is a possibility that she could lose the other one," Young said. "Through it all, she remains positive."

Throughout her life, Myles made several attempts to live alone and attend school. She wanted to become a nurse. However, she is now at a stage at which she requires daily assistance and has moved into her mother's home, where she has a small, 10-by-11-foot bedroom - a room that is insufficient for her needs, Young said.

"She needs somewhere to use her computer, a desk, and for friends to visit and where she can have her bed," she said.

Additionally, there is currently no handicap-accessible restroom in the home.

"My wheelchair won't fit through the bathroom door," Myles said. "I have to park outside the door, use a walker turned sideways and hop in."

She has a portable toilet in her bedroom, which further cramps the already tight space. Her wheelchair will fit through the bedroom door, but there is no place to turn around.

"I can't get to my closet or dresser," she said.

Young is a senior citizen with health challenges of her own, and with all of their medical expenses, the family can't afford to pay for the expansions the home needs. A contractor has estimated the work will cost $38,300. So far, the family has raised $6,300 in donations and help from churches, Young said.

A fund has been set up at BB&T Bank in Sylvania, listed under "Gail Young/April's Room Expansion Fund." Donated checks should be made out to that account, she said. Donations also may be made at the Statesboro BB&T location.

"This is legitimate," Young said. "It is no kind of flim-flam. We need this for April."

The fundraising efforts are in partnership with the Habitat for Humanity Improvement Committee. For more information, donors may call (912) 425-9162.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

 

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