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Sandie’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Necrotizing Pancreatitis)

Sandies Story Necrotizing PancreatitusLast August, before I felt sick, I ran a blood drive through Mass General Hospital with the Blood Mobile and collected 30 pints of blood. The Drive was to “Replenish the blood bank that was depleted from the Boston Marathon bombing”. It turned out I ended up using 2 pints of blood less then a month later.

I was hospitalized last September 11th with severe abdominal pain. After several weeks I was diagnosed with necrotizing pancreatitis, had emergency surgery to remove part of my pancreas, had several blood transfusions, given my last rites twice and was on kidney dialysis. All my organs were shutting down. It was a day to day struggle just to sit up. I went almost 3 months without eating and lost 40 pounds. But, thanks to persistence of my doctors, nurses and therapists, I went to rehab for almost a month. It was disappointing to miss Thanksgiving, a family wedding, and a family funeral. I had to go back to MGH because I had IR drains that kept falling out.

Finally after being hospitalized for 3 months and 2 days (mostly in Mass General Hospital) I got to go home. I was like an elderly person. I could barely walk, and coughing and sneezing were excruciating. The visiting nurse came twice a week for a month. My brother-in-law said, “If anyone can beat this, it’s Sandie.” I had a better chance of dying than surviving.

It’s almost been a year of being nearly pain-free. I just couldn’t give up because I saw the pain in my families’ faces when they came to see me and didn’t want to be the one who caused it.

Submitted 09/09/2014

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.


  1. Sue

    What a painful journey you went through, it was difficult to see the suffering you endured. I am greatful, more then words can say, that you made it! Thank you for fighting (like a girl)!!

  2. Sandie

    Hi, it’s Sandie, with an update. I have just returned to work last week (4 hrs/day to start). I have been getting more pain but I am constantly monitoring my temperature and keep my doctor posted on any changes. The next step in a colonoscopy because now the pain is in lower right quadrant. Bouts of vomiting and nausea BUT I am going to continue “FIGHTING LIKE A GIRL” . Keep up the good work all my fellow fights.

    • Sandie

      Hello fellow Fighters. . .me again, I forgot to add that I recently found out that I was born with a congenital defect in my pancreas called “pancreatic divisium”. Your pancreatic duct is suppose to fuse before birth in the womb and mine never did. It’s something like 4% of the population has this. If I wasn’t as healthy as I was (before pancreatitis) I probably would have been sick or deceased a long time ago.
      . . . Best wishes all, I hope everyone’s tomorrow is better then yesterday. (still in pain, but still fighting)

  3. bev

    hi my 16 yr old son was fine until 16th june had pain in tummy, was in hospital almost 6 months came home last week, acute server necrotizing pancreatitis, his kidnesy shut down still on dialysis 3 times a week. he has 10 per cent of pancreas left, almost died when had major bleed from splenic aertery ,spleen fell off in sergeon, 2 more bleed , and 2 pseudo cycsts, foot drop, and a faciotomy where they put the aertieral line thru an aertry in arm. how long before your kidneys began to work properly., they say my son may need transplant

    • Sandie

      Bev, I am so sorry for what your son is going through. It’s an awful, pain filled experience. My prayers go out to you both. Be strong and you “fight like a girl (Mother)” he needs all the strength and love you can give.

      • Julie stewart

        I too had necrotizing pancreatitis they put in a special type of axios stent dumped all the infection out but left tail of the pancreas damaged I do not function very well I heard all the time I’m considering total pendant pancreas removal with islet cell transplant however you say it LOL but I have to wait till November before Insurance can change Insurance Now does not cover in my area for that and I’ve also had breast cancer and had to have a full episode on hysterectomy a week ago so have to heal first

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