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Ilysa Winick – a mom just like us -- whose life changed on her birthday with no warning

by Allison Schlanger

Ilysa Winick is just like us. NYC mom of two kids – Benjamin (7 years old) and Ryan (4 years old).

Ilysa left her job on Wall Street and founded Reade Street Prep – a well-loved Tribeca preschool/enrichment center. She is an incredible artist…and loved to work out.

5 months ago Ilysa’s life changed forever. The weekend of June 8th she celebrated her birthday with her sister and friends. By Monday she did not feel so well. By Tuesday she was in the emergency room in terrible pain. Within 12 hours of her arrival -- she was transferred to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital because she had contracted a near-fatal blood infection which caused her body to go into septic shock – shutting down her vital organs. The doctors have no idea how this happened.

Ilysa was in a coma for three weeks. A complication developed from sepsis called DIC which caused blood flow to stop going to her extremities. This led to the amputation of both her feet below the knees and both her hands below the elbows. Ilysa will be on dialysis until she can get a kidney transplant.

5 months after this devastating illness, Ilysa has full brain function and has just started walking with prostheses (you have to watch the video of this incredible woman making it happen).

Ilysa is determined to get her life back. Even though she had great insurance, there is a rule that insurance only covers one limb per loss per life. Regardless of how ridiculous that is, she’s been denied coverage for any prosthetics at all so far. This is why Ilysa’s family partnered with HelpHopeLive to raise money for prosthetics as well as a kidney transplant, the related immunosuppressant drugs that she’ll have to take for the rest of her life, home care, therapy and more. We have been thinking of Ilysa and her family since the day she got sick. Tribeca is part of our apple seeds community and Ilysa’s contribution to her neighborhood is greatly appreciated by all of us. Read about Ilysa. If you would like to join us and Ilysa’s community in supporting her ongoing recovery you can donate and/or share her story. Thank you for reading and caring.



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