Answers for Amy

Funds sought for 8-year-old with mystery illness

by Sarah Fay Campbell

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Eight-year-old Amy Hiestand has been suffering from a mysterious illness since mid- September 2013. She and her mother, Tawny, are currently at the Mayo Clinic for a diagnosis. 


Eight-year-old Amethyst “Amy” Hiestand is currently seeing specialists at the Mayo Children’s Clinic in Minnesota, but her mother has run out of money to fund the diagnostics and treatment and is asking for more donations from the community.

Hiestand has been suffering from a mystery illness since September. She has been diagnosed with Lyme disease by a physician in Tennessee, but has been unable to tolerate the antibiotic treatment. All Lyme treatment has been stopped, according to the Answers for Amy Facebook page.

Amy has PeachCare insurance, but it’s not accepted outside of Georgia. All the treatment at Mayo Clinic must be paid for up front and out of pocket, according to Melanie Busby, a family friend.

“This trip to Mayo was a miracle,” said Busby. “Now she needs another miracle to get to see all the doctors she can and have the tests run that she needs while she is there.”

Amy’s mother, Tawny Hiestand, applied for financial assistance with Mayo but was turned down, according to K. Hatton. “The reason given was that Amy did not meet their criteria. No other explanation was given.”

As of Tuesday, doctors have ruled out allergies or rheumatological problems, Busby said. Amy does have multiple allergies to medications, which makes it difficult to treat both Lyme disease and the pain.

“Many doctors are scared to even try anything with her,” Busby said.

“Amy is needing to see additional specialists beyond what was originally scheduled,” said Tawny.

Amy has a hard time keeping food down and she may have to have a feeding tube inserted, though that is a last resort. “Amy has no body fat and very little muscle mass left,” said her mother.

A fundraising page has been set up for Amy, www.gofundme.com/answersforamy . An account has also been set up at Charter Bank.

Those wishing more information can reach Tawny Hiestand at amysmommie@hotmail.com or visit the Answers for Amy Facebook page.



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