Woman with Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome Gets Answers

June 26, 2015

A rare syndrome is starving her body.  When we first introduced you to this Brookfield woman in April, she wasn’t getting any answers. That has changed.

Lisa Brown has made amazing progress and sharing her story with the world just may end up saving her life.
Lisa is finally gaining weight.  “I definitely feel stronger.”  She was at just 87 lbs the last time we saw her.  Now she’s up by six pounds!
“To have people say I can tell in your face you’ve gained weight,’ I haven’t heard that in years, because it’s always been losing losing,” Lisa shared.
Lisa and her family have found new hope in a long and uncertain medical journey. “I was very scared. I was afraid we were going to lose her, I really was,” her mom told us.
And Lisa would still be waiting for her July appointment with experts at the Cleveland Clinic, if not for our story.  Doctors saw how sick Lisa is and got her in right away.  “I’m not just floating around hoping anymore. There’s a very, very bright light that I can finally see.”
Lisa has a rare disease called superior mesenteric artery syndrome. Part of her small intestine is pinched and food can’t get through.  She is now under the care of Dr. Matthew Kroh, a surgeon at Cleveland Clinic.  His perspective has given Lisa encouragement.  “He’s treated patients like me; he’s had success with them.”
She was in Ohio for almost a month going through a barrage of tests. Lisa was recently sent home to Brookfield with a SmartPill.  It’s an ingestible capsule that monitors what’s going on in Lisa’s body.  Cleveland doctors will now go over test results and come up with a treatment plan.  For Lisa that means a huge weight has been lifted.
And beer drinkers in Wisconsin are lifting some of the financial burden.  Biloba Brewing Company in Brookfield is donating $2 from the sale of every Amber Ale to Lisa.  Marketing Director Kathryn Glomski wanted to help after hearing Lisa’s story. “It completely, completely touched my heart.”
Anonymous donors have also dropped big bills into a donation jar.  So far the brewery has raised almost a thousand dollars.
The fundraiser will go until the keg runs dry.  “We’re going to rock it, and just keep supporting her and see how much we can do.”
Lisa told us she’s humbled by all the support, “I’m speechless.  They’re so generous with what they’re doing.”
Lisa’s hope now is to find a new normal.  Until that happens Lisa is still living day by day.  She pointed out, “I look cautiously so it’s not too far ahead, because it’s so difficult to say 6 months, or even 4 months.”
Lisa wanted to share her struggle to help others and raise awareness of SMAS.  It’s done both. Our original story has aired across the country and now People Magazine is picking up Lisa’s story.

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