Lymphedema Sufferer Bound To Home

Jun 7, 2010 8:11 PM

Ernie Foss makes the best use of his time indoors but his one wish is to go outdoors. "To be able to have the freedom of knowing that I'm independently experiencing life outside again is hard to put into words, it would mean everything for me and to me and to my children," Foss explained.

Foss is suffering from secondary lower extremity Lymphedema, which is causing his thighs to swell to more than seventy-five inches around. According to the National Lymphedema Network, the disease can be present at birth, develop on its own, or like in Foss' case, it can be a result of surgery or infection. It is caused when lymph vessels are not able to drain lymphatic fluid. "Everything that I do is one-hundred times harder for me than it is for a person that has use of their lower body and their limbs."

All Foss wants is to go outside, something he hasn't been able to do for more than two years. Donations from Home Depot and the Father's House Church may allow him to reach that goal. A ramp was built at his home but it is not quite usable. "I can't help my family, I can't help my self, I can't get better, everything ties into that ramp being there for me to be able to utilize the resources that lay outside the home for me."

There are a few more steps before Foss' dream can become a reality, for example, widening the doorway so the electric wheel chair can go through. A concrete pad also needs to be poured at the base of the ramp, but the work is in progress and Foss vows to fight until it's complete. "Some days I'm very very depressed, I cry, I give up for a day or two but my mom taught me never quit, so I never quit."

If you would like to help Mr. Foss, donations are being accepted at the Father's House Church in Oroville. You can call (530) 534-4140 for more information.


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