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Ella G.

The show must go on.

In the heart of Paris, amidst the bustling streets and vibrant culture, lived a woman named Ella.

For 15 years, she graced the stages of Paris as a singer and performer, captivating audiences with her talent and vibrant personality.

“I was born to be a singer,” Ella explained. “I started singing and doing musical theater at age 7 in Houston, and I never stopped.

“At one point, I was going to school and doing 10 shows each week.”

After graduation, Ella started to dip her toe into international living, staying abroad in Denmark for three months. She was immediately hooked, and it wasn’t long before she fell in love with Paris and decided to settle there for a bit, even auditioning for the part of Nala in the live version of The Lion King.

“Before my first audition, I had been in a car accident and tore my ACL, so dancing was out of the question,” she told us. “I auditioned again at a later date and got a callback, but I didn’t have my work permit yet. I couldn’t have known it at that point, but I ended up living and working in Paris for the next 15 years.”

Around this time, Ella began having strange symptoms, like bouts of extreme and unexplained weight loss. She also had a heart murmur that had been identified years earlier but was already under the care of a cardiologist who didn’t seem overly concerned. 

“I worked in fashion at that time, and I was told the weight loss was from stress,” Ella explained.

Things kept getting even more bizarre.

In 2019, she got the flu and was in really bad shape, losing almost 20 lbs in the first two days. She was given antibiotics and, later, the flu vaccine. She had complications from that injection, which caused pain and paralysis in her arm. She also struggled to eat, although her appetite was insatiable.

“Everyone looked like food,” she told us. “I thought I was going crazy. Finally, someone asked if I had ever been tested for Lyme disease.”

Unbeknownst to her, a simple bug bite years earlier carried with it Lyme disease, stealthily infiltrating her body and laying the groundwork for a cascade of health challenges yet to come.

As the symptoms of Lyme disease began to manifest, Ella's once vibrant world gradually dimmed. Fatigue became her constant companion, robbing her of the energy she once poured into her music and performances. 

Joint pain gnawed at her limbs, making each movement a battle against her own body. And then, another diagnosis that rocked her world—Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder that further compounded her health struggles.

For Ella, the stage that had once been her sanctuary now felt like a distant memory, a dream slipping through her fingers with each passing day.

Would she ever be able to sing again, to reclaim the essence of who she once was?

She needed more intensive and specialized care, so Ella flew back to the United States. To her shock, she discovered that she was in heart failure and had parasites (which had directly played a role in her extreme weight loss).

“I was found to have a very rare heart anomaly, Quadricuspid Aortic Valve (QAV), which causes me to have severe regurgitation,” Ella said. “I'm in daily pain from systemic infections, I've lost 30lbs, and I am very weak. Its very hard to have the energy to manage daily life or have a normal life as I did before. It's the complete opposite of my previous life. I can't work or socialize like normal.”

It has completely changed the course of her life. 

(Donate right here.)

And yet, in the midst of her darkest moments, a beacon of hope emerged in the form of Chive Charities and innovative therapy. Our generous donors selflessly rallied together to provide Ella with a lifeline: a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that held the promise of healing and restoration. We also provided a PEMF mat and home sauna for a total impact of $10,286.

As Ella stepped into the hyperbaric chamber for the first time, she felt a glimmer of hope within her—a spark of possibility amidst the uncertainty that had been part of her life for so long. With each session, she could feel the oxygen saturating her cells and the joint pain beginning to recede.

But perhaps most importantly, the hyperbaric chamber became more than just a piece of medical equipment—it became a symbol of the unwavering support and compassion of the community that rallied behind her. It was a reminder that, even in the face of adversity, she was not alone—that there were people who believed in her, who were rooting for her to reclaim her voice.

“I want to see myself singing again,” she told us. “But I don’t even know if I can hope for that.”

Because of your support, that hope feels more possible than ever. 

“If I can stick very closely to my protocol, I hope to be living stronger and healthier in three years and maybe to return to some work and hobbies,” Ella shared. “I want to help inspire others who are struggling with health issues.”

If her life were a song, the chorus would be building, a crescendo of emotion building to the next verse. Thanks to your contributions, we know it’ll be even better than she could imagine. That’s what it means to change a life. Be part of it with us and help spread hope to the next person like Ella, waiting for their chance. DONATE HERE.

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