|The Tierney Family|
"My beautiful niece Tonya Steely Tierney was stricken with a disease that has paralyzed her digestive system. The only way she can get the nutrients her body needs to stay alive is through a feeding tube," Tierney's aunt Annette Reynolds, of Corbin, said in the Go Fund Me account she set up for Tierney.
Tierney has been diagnosed with possible mitochondrial disease, neuromuscular disease and Gastroparesis, which is caused by an autonomic disorder. Although you would never know it, the last few years have been hard for Tierney. Despite having paralysis of the stomach, a slow intestinal tract, a J-tube hooked to her intestines, bypassing the stomach, a picc line for her weekly IV hookups, severe reflux, chronic nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, and having to sleep in a recliner for the last two years while she is hooked to a feeding tube 10 hours a day, she still manages to volunteer in the community and at her children's school. She plans events, helps other families as needed and is the woman everyone knows will do anything for anyone.
"Ever since I was little she was always one of the moms I looked up to and now after everything she's been through she's even more of an inspiring person and I hope one day I can be as great of a woman as her," says Andi Holt, tenth grader at Highlands High School who has known the Tierney family for 11 years. "She's Super Mom!"
Tierney's aunt created a Go Fund Me account in February to purchase an adjustable bed for Tierney. Reynolds did this after finding out she was sleeping in a recliner and that a bed was about $5,000. Tierney didn't want to ask others for help but her aunt knew the community would come together for her. Sixty two people donated $4245 in only nine days.
Tierney said the bed is extremely expensive but any money leftover from the Go Fund Me account will be used to cover her feeding tube formula, which costs $600 to $800 a month and is not covered by insurance. She had to quit her job as an MRI technologist since she can't be near the magnetic field due to the gastric simulator placed inside of her. She also can't do physical work for very long.
"I am able to get an adjustable king bed so my half rising doesn't affect Brad's (her husband) sleep," says Tierney. "I am truly humbled and have no words to express my thanks to everyone. I have cried so many times overwhelmed with love. We live in the best community and I can't wait to pay it forward. I can't believe the support and love I've been shown. I don't like to ask for help, I'd rather be the helper."
|Tonya Tierney with her feeding tube |
in a recliner
|Tonya Tierney picking out her new bed|