The Bella Tucker Fund
You think you have it bad? Maybe you do, but I’m sure 99.9% of your stories are not as unfortunate as what has happened to an 8 year old girl from Londonderry, NH named Bella Tucker.
Who is Bella Tucker?
Bella is an 8 year old third grader who was a budding gymnastics star, loved to ride her bike and listen to music, liked going to school and hanging out with her friends, and is now going to be confined to a wheelchair without her own arms and legs for the rest of her life.
A cute little girl with long blond hair, Bella attended South School Elementary in Londonderry, New Hampshire and was a talented member of the Phantom Gymnastics team. Maybe she will do those things again one day, but for now she is confined to a hospital bed at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. She and her family need all the help they can get.
What Happened to Bella Tucker?
Easter Sunday 2010 was going to be a fun-filled day with egg hunts, jelly beans, and Easter dinner with family. As the day progressed Bella began to feel under the weather; she eventually developed a fever and had the chills.
She went to bed early with what appeared to be flu symptoms, but woke up early in the morning with a fever of 103, complaining that her hands and feet were cold. Bella’s step-dad rushed her to the local emergency room, where doctors said she needed to be transferred by helicopter to Boston Children’s Hospital.
No one could have guessed what would happen next; Bella and her family would never be the same.
Surviving Streptococcus Pneumoniae Sepsis
With a temperature that peaked at a whopping 105.8 degrees, doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital initially figured she might have meningitis. They were wrong. Two days later Bella was diagnosed with streptococcus pneumoniae sepsis, a rare form of pneumonia that had stopped the flow of oxygen to her arms and legs.
With a 10% survival rate for streptococcus pneumoniae sepsis, the future did not look good.
Doctors placed Bella into a drug-induced coma, no one could be sure if she would ever regain consciousness. After 5 days she emerged from her coma, but her body had already sustained severe tissue damage.
The Aftermath of the Illness
On April 27th, doctors carried out a quadruple amputation; they had to take her arms and legs. To date she has lost both legs, her right arm up to the elbow, and her left arm halfway up her bicep. Bella has endured 4 surgeries, with more to come. She may lose the rest of her arms as well if her body cannot rid itself of infection and heal her wounds completely.
Bella now faces months, if not years, of extensive rehabilitation. She must learn how to function without arms or legs, and will probably have to learn to use prosthetics. Fortunately, she has the loving support of her family.
Bella’s mother, Selena Roarty, loves her daughter very much and is thankful that Bella is alive:
“Sometimes she’s sad; she doesn’t understand why this happened to her, but she’s a strong little girl. We have no doubt at all she will overcome this. We don’t want to tell her she can’t do anything.”
Facing Financial Hardship
Bella’s family; consisting of her mom, her step-dad, 3 older brothers and one younger sister; face hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs, and they may have to foreclose on their home. Even if they are able to keep their home, they will have to pay for extensive modifications, including the installation of an elevator as the home is not suitably constructed for a wheelchair ramp.
Bella’s mother will need to be by Bella’s side nearly 24×7 during the rehab process, so she will be unable to work and the family will lose a significant portion of income. They will also have to place the other children into daycare at times, as Bella’s step-dad must continue to work.
Most of Bella’s family’s living expenses have been paid thus far with their savings and through the generosity of others, but the savings account will eventually run out. So far the citizen of Londonderry have raised $10,000 through fund-raising and charities, but the elevator installation alone was quoted at $30,000. Bella’s family needs lots of help.
Please Help Project Swole Help Bella Tucker
I will ask you now if you could please help me help Bella. This donation button will donate money directly into the PayPal fund setup by BellaTucker.org.
The Bella Tucker Fund
This is not like someone’s house burning down, where insurance will buy them a new house. Nor is this an international tragedy, where countries all over the world will pitch in and help. This is a local tragedy about a girl who has lost her arms and legs; whose family must bare this hardship for the rest of her life.
Please help me help Bella and her family, even if you can only donate $10, anything is better than nothing. If you choose to make a donation please leave a comment to let us know, and feel free to leave a link back to your website if you’d like to promote something.
Be sure to leave your sentiments for Bella either in the comments here or on the guest book page at BellaTucker.org.
I am also working with the American Kenpo Academy in Londonderry, NH to promote their Kick-a-Thon, which will attempt to raise additional money for The Bella Tucker Fund.
The Kick-a-Thon will be held on June 5th 2010 at 3pm at American Kenpo Academy. Donate some money then if you want or sponsor a kicker.