Blanchard Church of Christ to Host Fundraiser for Carnahan Family | News, Sports, Jobs
BLANCHARD — A fundraiser for a chicken barbecue is planned for May 22 at the Blanchard Church of Christ to help the Carnahan family with their medical expenses.
Meals will be distributed at the pavilion outside the church rain or shine and include 1/2 chicken, baked beans, macaroni and cheese and a butter bun for $12. There will also be a bake sale on site.
Donations can also be made to the Blanchard Church of Christ by check or Venmo. Please be sure to clearly indicate that your donation is for the Rich Carnahan family.
In April 2021, Rich was diagnosed with an inherited connective tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos Hypermobile Syndrome (HEDS). Ehlers Danlos is a disorder in which the body produces defective collagen that affects joints, skin, and blood vessels, among other complications. This condition often goes undiagnosed and can be confused with other conditions, delaying treatment. It can also be considered an invisible disease, as a person can look healthy while dealing with the complications that come with this disease.
Rich has lived with these complications since he was a young child as he was often confused with growing pains and the demands of being an active young boy. For Rich, his condition affected both his major and minor joints, causing hypermobility throughout his body that led to injuries and surgery. He underwent multiple reconstructive shoulder surgeries on both shoulders.
Six years ago, Rich’s health deteriorated following an event involving a life-threatening intestinal infection and he has struggled to regain his health ever since. From this event he began the long journey of finding a diagnosis. Rich continued to suffer from complications that baffled doctors during his numerous emergency room visits, hospital stays and doctor’s appointments. HEDS is not widely known and is often misunderstood. Finding doctors who understand the disease requires research and travel. It wasn’t until they found a few great doctors who helped them with a diagnosis that he was able to begin treatment. Treatment involves symptom management depending on the severity and complications of the disease.
Rich developed early osteoarthritis and lives with chronic musculoskeletal pain. For the past two years, Rich has had lumbar and cervical spinal fusions. He needs shoulder replacement as well as surgery on both hips where he is suffering from labrum tears and instability. Since his recent diagnosis, Rich has also developed heart and lung complications resulting in an enlarged aortic root and blood clots. He also lives with conditions called POTS which cause daily dizziness and mast cell activation which can cause an immune response in the body.
Rich has always suffered from migraines throughout his life and recently experienced severe pain and instability above his cervical spinal fusion at the base of his skull. There are already signs of further damage above the fusion, and he also has symptoms of carniocervical instability. Recently, it has caused many complications, severe pain and debilitating neurological symptoms in her daily life. He and his wife located and consulted a doctor outside of New York who treats this disease and is familiar with HEDS. It is hoped that Rich will soon be able to receive the invasive tests and surgery recommended by this doctor that will correct this complication to allow Rich to regain some enjoyment in life.
With the combination of these conditions, HEDS left Rich unable to work and he has since become disabled. Rich loved his job, being active, spending time with his family, hunting, fishing and he loved helping others.
“By God’s grace, faithfulness and love, the family is beyond grateful for the blessings life has bestowed upon them during this difficult time. They are grateful for the many special people who have been placed in their lives. and are extremely grateful for the outpouring of love and support from family and friends,” a press release on the event said.