I recieved this message from our District 31 Webmaster, Frank Storey - who resides in District 18 (and is also my Webmaster). He shared this email from past International President Pauline Shirely, DTM that was shared with him by Cynthia Brown
I know you have been praying and sending all of the positive energy you can to Lashunda. Yesterday evening they did the exploratory surgery I mentioned in my previous email. As she was being taken to the operating room she gave a thumbs up but the news is not good. The doctor's conclusion is that he has done all he or anybody can do and has laid some pretty heavy decisions at the family's feet especially Sonya. With very aggressive action and a surgery every 3 to 4 days they could maybe keep her alive for another 3 weeks to a month (more or less). She would still be in intermittent pain and have no quality of life. This is not the doctor's recommendation. Sonya is understandably deeply grieved and Lashunda's son is in shock but both are holding up as best as could be expected.
A couple of people from TNT asked for a little more background on Lashunda's illness. Briefly, Lashunda has Lupus. She has been sick for the past couple of years but it is yet to be confirmed that all of her bouts are the results of the disease. She has undergone all manner of treatment and her latest problem is the fact that she only has 6 inches of usable intestine. And actually, that is about all that any of us know because again it has not been confirmed that all she has gone through was caused by the Lupus.
Keep Lashunda in your prayers and thoughts. Do the same for her family and the tough days ahead. If you want to see her, I would suggest today (later today...11/05/08). She was awake and aware most of yesterday as they lifted some of her sedation for her surgery. I am not sure at what level of sedation she will be today.
Even if you can't talk with her, the family appreciates the way Toastmasters are there for each other so feel free to visit if you'd like. She is at Baylor in the Roberts building - 4 west ICU bed 4.
Cynthia M Brown
Keep Lashunda in your thoughts and prays. She is set to go to surgery from 12 noon to 2:00 pm today. It is exploratory surgery and they are just trying to figure something out. Her blood pressure was a little elevated this morning and they gave her some medication to bring it down so that they could proceed with the surgery. Please hope and pray that they are able to come up with a life saving solution for Lashunda. She is fighting with every thing she's got. Also keep Lashunda's family in your thoughts especially her 13 year old son Dennis and her very dedicated sister Sonya.
One note: The film crew that did the documentary on the journey to the Toastmaster Championship fell so in love with her that they were here over the weekend in support and visibly shaken by her prognosis. Lashunda has that kind of affect on folk.
P.S. Also, Lashunda is in the latest issue of Jet magazine on page 18.
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