A Lavaca woman has suffered from a mysterious illness since she was about ten-years-old. It leaves her with fatigue, aches, pains, heart issues, and even seizures. As a result of her condition, Chalice Sotherland Wead, 42, has often been debilitated, unable to function and take care of her family. (She has three children: Presley, Chanley, and Manley. Her husband Clay Wead works in another state.) For many years, this condition and its causes have left her, her family and some of the most trusted medical institutions in the country baffled.
Chalice’s symptoms included muscle aches, fatigue, heart issues, and migraine headaches, to name a few. But what most of the public didn’t see was the seizure activity that sometimes accompanied her failing health. She tried many medications and specialists ran all sorts of tests, but all turned up nothing of any help. After exhausting all local testing and trials, Chalice went to the Mayo Clinic. It was there that the doctors decided that she had fibromyalgia. They were wrong. A visit to Vanderbilt was hopeful but the doctors there didn’t let her stay off of her medications long enough before sending her home. Meanwhile, Chalice suffered a stroke. “Over the past four years, it kept getting worse and worse,” Chalice said.
Then, Chalice met Dr. Edward Hepworth. He saw what was not noticed by other nationwide specialists. During a nuclear MRI, Dr. Hepworth noticed there was a cranial spinal fluid leak. It is called “McCune Albright Polycystic Fibrous Dysplasia.” Those words are a mouthful that your average person has never heard of. But Chalice began studying and researching everything she could find on the topic.
Chalice and her mother, Lesa Sotherland, will be leaving this weekend to drive to Denver, Colorado. Next Wednesday, Dr. Hepworth and a team of specialists will operate on her to fix the leaking spinal fluids and revamp her sinuses. They will be taking out a mass or “dysplasia,” out of her cheekbone. After surgery, Chalice must stay calm and rest. “The doctors don’t even want her to sneeze after surgery or it could undo all the work they will have done,” her mother said. So the ladies must stay in Denver for six weeks with Chalice on bed rest. After this hurdle has been passed, they will return to Denver sometime next year to have growths removed from her neck, “Eagle’s Syndrome,” or bony growths, long and thin, with a claw-like hold on her jugular veins. This has caused her stroke and the cause of all of her cardiac symptoms.
Her insurance will pay for the hospital and for the operations but it doesn’t cover her recuperation time afterward where they need to be near the doctor and hospital. It doesn’t cover travel expenses, food, and other necessities for such a stay.
Friends of the Wead family gave a rodeo fundraiser for her recently at the Boone Miller Rodeo Arena in Lavaca. It was a successful event and much- needed funds were raised. But it still may not be enough.
There is an account set up at First National Bank where anyone who wishes to can donate toward her care in Denver. The account number there is 2008751. If you feel generous and led to donate, please do. The family will greatly appreciate it. If you wouldn’t mind putting her in your prayers, your prayer chains, and church prayer lists, she would appreciate that also.
We are already surrounding her in prayer and look forward to the day when she can come home and take loving care of her family.