My name is JoVonna Williams and I am a single mother of three children. They include Cheyenne (my guardian angel) who would have been 16 and two boys; Demari who is 14 and Dominic who is 4 years old. I am a Christian who was born and raised in the church. Currently, I attend Oakland Church of Christ located in Southfield, MI. I have a seven year professional background working for a OB/GYN physician’s private practice. I also have four years of experience in the auto finance industry where I worked in the repossession and garnishment departments.
Now I have a different part to my story I want to share. In 2010 at the age of 29, I was diagnosed with a rare condition Eosinophilic Myenteric Ganglionitis, which is an auto immune disorder that causes my colon and my bowel to attack one another. I have been told I am the fourth person in the world to be officially diagnosed with this disease. I was diagnosed at Cleveland Clinic Hospital after undergoing seven hours of surgery. I had a partial colectomy (removal of damaged colon), with a total rectal reconstruction and a temporary Ileostomy pouch which is a bag used to collect bowel contents. The surgery was a total success, but the recovery was rough and very painful. I was very sick and spent three weeks in the hospital, and I even lost thirty-seven pounds due to not being able to eat. Three months later, the pouch was permanently removed and reversed.
A year later I was blessed to have my second son. I was told I am the first person known to have a child diagnosed with my condition. The pregnancy was rough and I spent a lot of time in the hospital. Dominic was born a preemie almost five weeks early with no complications.
I have endured over 100 hospitalizations since being diagnosed. At one time, I was immobilized on my left-side from my waist down to my foot and loss total feeling in my left foot due to a side effect from a medication given. I spent four months in the hospital and weighed almost 200 pounds when I got out from being on steroids. I had to temporarily live in a nursing home for complete physical therapy. I have been to several hospital facilities because the care has been either inadequate or just downright bad. I have been called a “drug seeking” person and many other things simply because the doctor’s are practicing medicine and some have even become desensitized to patient needs. As a result, I am unable to work and I am on full disability.
I share my story to encourage, motivate, and uplift everyone I encounter being a testimony and a sense of hope. If I can help just one person then I feel all I have been through has a purpose. I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me (Philippians 4:13). Be encouraged and smile.