Sonya Hewitt

Chronic Pancreatitis

Sonya Hewitt's Bio

Sonya Kay Hewitt of Thurmont, Md is a lifelong Frederick County resident. She is married to Curtis Hewitt and has two daughters, Lindsay and Kellie and a one month old beautiful granddaughter. Sonya worked for Bank of America for 26 years until her health forced her into early retirement. Sonya was the primary insurance carrier for the family.  Since the loss of her job, Sonya and her family are forced to carry the cost of extremely expensive private insurance and continue to accumulate medical expenses. The family was forced to go from a two income family to a one income family with horrific medical costs.

Sonya has suffered with Chronic Pancreatitis for the past 16 years. She suffers from Chronic Pancreatitis with several coinciding medical conditions. She developed type 1 diabetes and is now an insulin dependent diabetic requiring a pump. She suffers from diabetic neuropathy which has led her to fall several times breaking bones and causing harm to herself from complete loss of feeling in her feet. She developed Gastroparesis, a condition that affects the stomach muscles and prevents proper stomach emptying. On top of all these things she also suffers on a daily basis from pain and nausea directly associated to her Chronic Pancreatitis.

Last year she sought out the opinions of some nearby hospitals (Georgetown University, University of MD Medical Center, and Johns Hopkins University) and during a routine scan at one of said hospitals it was observed that she had an abnormal tumor growing inside the head of her pancreas. Doctors recommended that this be watched via endoscopic ultrasound every few months and after only two procedures doctors determined that the tumor was “rapidly growing” and needed to be removed. Sonya had a Whipple procedure in the end of January 2016 at Johns Hopkins University Hospital (pancreaticoduodenectomy) to remove the tumor from her pancreas as well as partial removal of her pancreas, partial removal of her stomach, her duodenum and twenty lymph nodes. It is required she be closely monitored with repeat endoscopic ultrasound’s in the future.

Since surgery, she has experienced major complications. Her incision area has reopened several times and continues to leak. Surgery occurred on 1/27/16 with a second hospitalization was 3/7/16. Her incision was infected and she had two drains placed. She was referred to Frederick Memorial Hospital wound care center and was set up with Home Health Care to pack her open abdominal wound because it was now a requirement for this to heal from the inside out. The incision has reopened several times since that time and she has been on TPN (total paternal IV nutrition). It was concluded that she had an internal leak and she was re hospitalized (4/15/16) to have a pic line placed. She was npo (no food by mouth) and tpn set up (total paternal IV nutrition). She was unable to eat anything and was required to have only water and IV nutrition for months. Her wound recently reopened and starting leaking once again. She is currently under care for the wound at the wound care center in Frederick with periodic consultation with the surgeon at Johns Hopkins.

Sonya has a strong Christian faith but this test of her faith is draining and depressing. Without her faith in the Lord, I don’t know how she would get through all she has been through. I admire her faith and her strength and determination. Almost 9 months post surgery and still suffering complications and she is still fighting strong and hanging on to the Lord for strength and courage.