It’s a situation almost impossible to fathom: A New Jersey mom suffers a severe stroke less than a month after her son is born with a brain tumor.
The holiday season for the Niessen family of Warren County has begun with two ongoing battles. Tanya Niessen suffered her stroke in May. In August, she and her husband, Tom, learned that their son Bradan had a medulloblastoma.
Bradan has been in and out of the pediatric intensive care unit with various complications as he undergoes chemotherapy at Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown following brain surgery.
Tanya, meanwhile, had a cranioplasty this week to repair her skull. Doctors proclaimed it a success.
It was a welcome bit of news considering how things started out in May.
“After being rushed to the hospital, she needed to be airlifted to another facility for emergency surgery as she was deteriorating rapidly,” said Janice Slingland Gummere of Oakland, who rallied co-workers at PTS Data Center Solutions in Franklin Lakes, where Tom is vice president of operations.
Tanya made it, but she has a “very long and uncertain road” ahead of her, said Gummere, who also established a GoFundMe to help with the mounting medical bills.
Gummere and the others at PTS “have been nothing but amazing during this whole half year of medical drama for my family,” Tom said Wednesday.
He, meanwhile, has channeled his energy into keeping things going, looking after his wife and their other son, 4-year-old TJ.
Tanya “is still working hard on her recovery,” Niessen said. “And TJ and I are trying to hold down the fort with a lot of support from our friends, family and neighbors.”
Gummere, for one, doesn’t know how he does it.
“Juggling childcare, round the clock newborn feedings and working is enough, but add in the constant worry and uncertainty with Tanya's health and the fact that the hospital is nearly an hour away ... yikes!” she wrote.
“This family cannot catch a break,” Gummere said.
“You would not be human if this story did not tug at your heart strings,” she said, calling it an “unthinkable situation.”
Gummere is doing all she can to help.
“I hear about incredible amounts of money being raised thru various GoFundMe’s,” she noted.
It leads her to wonder “How do I reach more people?”
Stories like this, for one thing.
All of the money raised through the GoFundMe campaign will go directly to the Niessen family. Please donate if you can – or, at the very least, let others know.
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