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Holding out hope: Young mother fighting for her life in hospice

<i>WNEM</i><br/>A young mid-Michigan mother is fighting for her life hoping to make it to Christmas and that it won’t be her last one. She’s receiving hospice care at home
WNEM
A young mid-Michigan mother is fighting for her life hoping to make it to Christmas and that it won’t be her last one. She’s receiving hospice care at home

By David Custer

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    GENESEE CO., Michigan (WNEM) — A young mid-Michigan mother is fighting for her life hoping to make it to Christmas and that it won’t be her last one.

She’s receiving hospice care at home, but she refuses to believe it’s her reality, holding out hope that there’s a treatment out there.

“Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s just so cheerful. It’s beautiful. It’s magical. It just brings everybody together,” said Allison Coon.

As candles burn brighter each day closer to Christmas, one family’s glimmer of light is losing its twinkle with each passing day.

“I wake up, I come out of my room, and the first thing I do is pray to God by the time I reach her bed that she’s still breathing,” said Lisa Moss.

This mom’s Christmas wish is for time to stand still; each second is ticking away at her ailing heart.

Lisa Moss fears when she wakes up tomorrow, her 30-year-old daughter won’t.

“We got to take it one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, because we just don’t know,” Moss said.

Her family room is filled with holiday decorations and presents around the tree, masking the devastating reality tucked away in every corner: oxygen tanks, medical supplies, and a hospital bed against the back wall holding a young mother of two, a mother pleading to God that these aren’t the last days of her life.

“And I’m just so frustrated, scared, and upset that everyone just turned their back on me and just go to hospice. I mean, I’m only 30. I have two kids,” Coon said. “My career’s gone, everything’s gone.”

Coon has also lost her view to the outside world. It hasn’t changed in two months. She’s confined to her bed and most days, she’s too nauseous to sit up to talk.

She understands what’s happening to her body; she’s a medical professional, an EMT, having spent the better part of her adult life coming to the rescue of others.

Coon found herself on the receiving end of emergency medical care when she had to have her gall bladder removed in July of 2020. That summer she was also diagnosed with gastroparesis – a disorder paralyzing her stomach muscles, making it hard for her to digest food and causing her serious complications, and it’s progressively getting worse.

“In about four months, I lost over 100 pounds. I ended up at Genesys. I had a feeding tube. They ended up sending me down via ambulance to U of M, critical status,” she said. “I had one of the most severe cases that they had ever seen.”

“Her team was at U of M in Ann Arbor, and they discharged her because there was nothing more they could do. They told her to go home and get on hospice,” Moss said.

“I lost my teeth from puking as you can see,” Coon said. “I literally go through the same things a heroin addict feels. I shake, I sweat, I freeze, I hurt, I vomit.”

“So, she’s on hospice now. And our big hope was the Mayo Clinic. They would not accept her because of the progression of the disease. So now our only hope of her surviving is the Cleveland Clinic,” Moss said.

As she unpacks the thought of her candle inching closer to burning out, she’s focused on leaving an imprint on her young children’s hearts, memories she hopes will last a lifetime in case she’s no longer here to keep her motherly love burning bright.

“I’m not ready to give up. I’m not ready to give up, and I pray to God every day and night, ‘Please, please just keep giving me the chance and I’ll do by you right.’”

“When this happens, I’m gonna have to look into their little faces and you know, ‘Mom’s gone.’ It’s gonna be a tremendous loss; the kids are not going to understand,” Moss said.

“My Christmas miracle is to stay with my kids. That’s it. That’s all I want in life, I don’t care about anything else; take anything. Just don’t take me from my kids.”

If Coon is accepted for treatment at the Cleveland Clinic, Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson has organized to cover the cost of her getting there through the help of generous donations. Medstar Ambulance will transport her under their care.

TV5 will keep you updated on her journey.

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