Woman Hopes Specialized Jaw Surgery Cures Debilitating Pain

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) – A young woman is desperately hoping that specialized reconstruction surgery will finally stop the pain in her jaw, but she needs nearly $50,000 to pay for it.

katie 2 Woman Hopes Specialized Jaw Surgery Cures Debilitating Pain

(credit: CBS)

The 26-year-old says she has been suffering for years, ever since she had her wisdom teeth removed. And Katie will tell you she’s tried nearly every treatment.

“In the past 4 years, I’ve seen about 30 doctors,” she said.

But Katie said the pain in her jaw persists.

“I feel like I have shooting fireworks that come out of my face anytime I move my mouth, drink, talk. It’s constant pain, it’s debilitating pain. Some days are worse than others, but it’s always there,” she explained.

Katie says the agony began with what was supposed to be routine surgery to extract her wisdom teeth. She woke up with massive swelling that her doctor called normal. When it didn’t go away, she said other doctors told her “the jaw was completely out of alignment and had been dislocated.”

katie 3 Woman Hopes Specialized Jaw Surgery Cures Debilitating Pain

(credit: CBS)

Katie has been a rafting guide and a snowboard instructor. She spent 2 years as an Americorps mentor at Manual High School. But not lasers, orthotics, massage or injections … nothing has made her feel normal.

“I take a ton of Advil, Tylenol, I pray. I try to maintain a positive attitude and do the best I can to keep going because I have hope that this will end one day,” Katie said.

katie 1 Woman Hopes Specialized Jaw Surgery Cures Debilitating Pain

(credit: CBS)

Her hope is in a specialist in Florida. She’s scheduled for surgery, but after insurance and a discount she has to pay $48,600.

“I’ve raised slightly under half,” she said.

Katie has a gofundme campaign and confidence. After 30 doctors, she’s counting on number 31.

“This is the only thing I believe will give me my life back,” she said.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 for more than 30 years. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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