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Georgia mother, daughter travel thousands of miles for daughter's life-saving surgery in Denver

Sydney Massey and Paige Pollock traveled to Denver from Georgia for a potentially life-saving surgery for Massey.
Posted at 5:07 PM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 22:12:59-05

DENVER — Sydney Massey and her mother Paige Pollock have traveled thousands of miles to keep Massey alive, including a life-saving surgery in Denver last week, though her journey could still continue.

Massey's health issues started when she started having seizures at a nail salon in north Georgia. Several tests revealed that she had Pseudotumor cerebri, a condition that deceives the brain into believing it has a tumor, causing fluid to build up on the brain.

"Within two months of meeting a doctor over a Zoom call, I was in Texas having emergency surgery because I lost my eyesight," Massey said.

That surgery in Houston was the first of many trips the family would make to keep Massey alive. Since her initial surgery, she's been diagnosed with a number of medical conditions, including Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH), Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Eagles Syndrome, jugular vein dysfunction, and most recently, Craniocervical Instability.

"I have to keep a list on me at all times now," Pollock said.

After five years of medical struggles, Pollock said they are at the breaking point financially. To help cover Massey's expenses, Pollock works two jobs, but the surgeries and prescriptions have exceeded the $100,000 mark.

The trip to Denver is hopefully one of the final surgeries Massey will have to undergo. It was a procedure on her neck, which could only be performed by three surgeons in the country, one of them located in Denver.

However, their most recent medical visit revealed a spinal issue, which will possibly require another surgery.

"The next step is potentially New York," Pollock said.

The 4,000-mile medical journey nearly broke Massey's spirit, who said she almost gave up after one of her doctors dropped her as a patient.

"I didn't want to do it anymore. I still don’t," she said.

Her spirit was tested even more last year, when Pollock was diagnosed with colon cancer.

"When I get her taken care of, then I’ll take care of me. I can’t focus on anything but her," Pollock said.

While Massey waited for her next surgery, Pollock went under the knife, losing 18 inches of her colon. Fortunately, Pollock's cancer is in remission, but her doctor cautioned her that it may come back.

Pollock said they submitted a disability claim twice, but have been denied both times. Currently, they're trying to raise funds to pay for Massey's medical treatments.

You can find a link to their GoFundMe page here.

Georgia mother and daughter travel to Denver for daughter's life-saving surgery

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