An Optimistic Attitude and Prayers Were All That Tanai Needed to Survive

Sometimes things happen in your life and you don’t know why. You question yourself why me or what did I do to deserve this? But what you should be asking is what can I learn from it. I’m finally coming out to tell my story because I feel like I can help someone. I’m not here for opinions but to simply tell my story.

Six weeks after I had my daughter I was offered by the doctors a form of birth control called an IUD. I accepted because I was told that it was safe, and it was the best type. It had never given me any problems up until November of 2017. I had it for 3 years so far. I was told that it was good for 5 years. I went to my yearly checkup in October and was asked about birth control and mentioned that I had an IUD. They checked and told me that they couldn’t find it and that it may have fell out, but I knew for a fact that wasn’t the case. They sent me to get two types of ultrasounds the same day and I was told once again that they didn’t see an IUD. One day in the beginning of November I was at work I had a sharp pain and the bottom right of my stomach and the first thing that popped in my head was is this that IUD? But I tried to brush it off, but the pain was getting worse. I left work 3 hours early to go to the hospital. I went to the hospital and told them what was going on and what the doctors were telling me, so they immediately sent me to get an X-ray done. The doctor came in the with a weird look on her face and said the IUD is in there but its pushed up in your stomach, so you will have to get surgery. She told me to call my OBGYN to schedule a date. I went and talked to my OBGYN, told him everything and even showed him the X-ray picture that they allowed me to take, he also said I have to get surgery. So, I asked him how they would get it out and he told me they would cut me right under my belly button and use a scope. On December 13th I went in to get the procedure done. Instead of 1, I was cut 3 times. One under my belly button and one on each of my side. They were able to get it out, but it was broken into pieces.  I was told that it had moved up to my liver. When I left the hospital, I was bleeding, but my mom was told that it was normal. Overnight I begin to bleed heavier and the pain got worse. I was rushed to the hospital by ambulance and once I got to the hospital my mom told the doctors everything that was going on. They rushed me to have x-rays done and then rushed me to surgery. I was bleeding internally. After the surgery my mom was told that when they opened me up, my ovaries were black and that they had to give me a hysterectomy. After the surgery I went into septic shock causing me to be in ICU for a few weeks.  I died on that surgery table. While in ICU my organs began to fail. I was on a breathing machine, I was on dialysis because my kidneys weren’t working right. Everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong. My parents were told that I was the worst patient on the floor and that they didn’t think I was going to make it. But with faith and God the prayers that everyone sent out, I am here today.

Next week, I have to get myself prepared again for a second surgery to have my toes amputated. But I swear I came so far and I’m not letting anything stop me.

The toughest part about my sickness was being away from my daughter for so long. The grant helped me a lot. It helped me purchase food, clothes and helped my family catch up on bills that fell behind. My message to other survivors is to stay strong!

– Tanai Smith

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