‘Selfless’ mum puts life on hold in time of crisis
‘Selfless’ mum puts life on hold in time of crisis

‘Selfless’ mum puts life on hold in time of crisis

Jessica Chappell experienced her 40th birthday in hospital, on her own, with one crushing thought: 'is this the year I die?'

It was July and COVID-19 cases were on the rise, forcing the Geelong mum into a "medical bubble" as she was treated for liver failure and encephalitis - an infection on the brain.

Ms Chappell had been in and out of hospital since February after suffering severe and debilitating complications from autoimmune hepatitis, a condition brought on by the birth of her daughter 10 years ago.

Her 73-year-old mum, Joy Ipsen, dropped everything to become her carer and home schoolteacher for Meadow, her 10-year-old daughter.

For her sheer selflessness, Ms Ipsen has been nominated in the Thanks a Million campaign.

"I don't know how you describe a year where you thought you were going to die then turn out you didn't only because of the extreme sacrifices of the people you love the most," Ms Chappell said.

"If it wasn't for my mum, I would have had to have gone into hospital permanently or respite care or my husband would have had to take a leave of absence."

Ms Chappell's husband Chris works as a first responder and when his wife took ill, called on Ms Ipsen for help.

"My husband called my family for help and said I can't do it, she's too sick and I can't do this on my own," Ms Chappel said

"Between Chris and my mother, they nursed me like I was a child. The sheer will on my mum's behalf, she's not young, she should be retiring, not showering me and trying to feed me or trying to figure out what I'm trying to say on a word board.

"My mum would show up at five in the morning and leave at seven at night. Mum and my husband were literally showering me and changing the bed around me together, rolling me one side, stripping the bed then rolling me to the other. I nominated my mum because Chris has also been my rock but he promised he would always be there but I think mothers should not have to do all that again. She stopped her whole life for a year to help."

Under the guidance of Deputy Director of Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant Medicine at Austin Hospital Professor Paul Gow, Ms Chappell recently underwent an experimental procedure that has since seen her condition improve.

"[Prof Gow] basically figured out there was a vein that was misbehaving and bypassing my liver organ completely and had grown its own circulatory path," Ms Chappell said.

"I had surgery and they put a shunt in and within a month they said you're not sick enough to be on the transplant list.

"It will never be over. The medical routine doesn't change, eight tablets in the morning, weekly blood tests but I have my brain back, I have my soul back and I have my personality back."

To nominate someone and say thanks, go to thanksamillion.net.au and they could receive a $200 Woolworths Gift Card.

Terms and conditions apply. For full terms and conditions, visit thanksamillion.net.au

 

Originally published as 'Selfless' mum puts life on hold in time of crisis


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