Paradise Girl Battles Rare Disorder

Apr 6, 2010 7:49 PM

"I never really had a normal life. I've always had to stay home, always had to be picked up from a friend's house," explained Stevie Bunch. The Paradise teenager has Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome. It is a very rare life-threatening gastrovascular disorder. In other words, Stevie can't digest her food, vomits all the time, and is constantly nauseous. "It's very hard to deal with day in and day out. I never know what is going to happen each day, I don't know if I'm going to get sick or If I can go anywhere."

Stevie has been in and out of hospitals for years. She has been misdiagnosed over a dozen times, with doctors performing unnecessary surgeries. She says she has come close to dying five times. It was not until January 23rd of this year, doctors diagnosed Stevie with S.M.A.S. "I'm happy they gave me an answer but not happy with what it is. It is a very scary life-threatening thing."

Stevie can not go to public schools and lives with her mother and Autistic brother. "It's really hard to deal with life at home, and away from home with two children that are challenged with medical issues," Stevie's mother Margo stated.

Doctors discovered there was a cure for S.M.A.S in 2008 when they performed a surgery on a young girl in Canada. The family is in contact with a doctor in Los Angeles that is willing to help Stevie and will perform surgery if necessary. "She's determined to get better, determined to do what she wants to do and I pretty sure she will do it," Margo explained.

The Bunch family says medical bills total more than two-hundred thousand dollars and continue to rise. Several Butte College student nurses hosted a fundraiser for Stevie Tuesday night from six to eight at Cal-Skate in Chico.


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