Sarah Wisely is nothing short of an inspiration. Powered by an innate desire to teach, share and empower, she emailed our home office team in hopes of sharing her life story with our community. It is a story that moved us all so deeply that we were immediately obligated to host a visit and subsequent photo shoot in the Navy Yard here in Philadelphia. Sarah embodies the very essence of who we are at Free People, and we’re very proud to call her our friend.
Last spring I was septic for the 22nd time in three years, with multiple infections causing my lungs to rapidly shut down. Sepsis is an infection that permeates the blood and spreads to your organs, causing them to shut down and basically fail. The infections that spread throughout my entire body also made their way to my heart, placing me in a state of severe congestive heart failure. Having stared death in the face numerous times, this only motivated — and continues to push — me to fight even harder and live the best life I possibly can, and more.
I always revisit the time when one of my favorite doctors walked into the room, sat by my bed, and suggested that I consider hospice. Hospice is essentially a place where doctors make you comfortable in preparation to pass on. She knew I’d been fighting for a long time and was curious if I was sick of fighting, if I wanted to give up and let my infections take over my body so I could finally be at peace. She also explained that she wasn’t sure if I’d recover, and that I’d be battling the result of being severely septic life long. I looked her in the eyes while she was holding my hand and said “I’m not done here yet, let me fight, I will win.” I fought the 22nd toughest battle of my life and fought hard every day to overcome what has been thrown at me.
Long story short, this illness, along with the many surgeries I’ve had to knock it down, has left permanent scars all over my body. But I know that doesn’t make me any less beautiful. I know I can use everything I’ve been through as fuel to help myself and all women alike be the best they can be and embrace who they are. What’s the point of going through struggles if you don’t turn them around into something good, something positive?
Sarah Elizabbeth Wisely was born on July 26, she was born sick they didn't find out what she had until she was 9 years old. That means that she has to eat out of a feeding tube but she can eat apples and peaches. She is a very smiley person even though she is sick almost all the time. She loves making people laugh and laughing herself. She is outgoing, lovable, stronge, friendly, nice, and a fighter. She is sick all the time but thats not stopping her. Life with EE, HES, && Crones gets hard and is overwelming but hey it makes her stronger person and she is proud of that. All she wants to do is raise awareness so kids that suffer with EE, HES && Crones can live a normal life. And they can feel good about it and she is determind to make a difference. Even though she is sick day and night she continous to fight for it and enjoys life because she is a stronge girl who has family and friends that loves and supports her. Here is what she goes through everyday:
Around 3 a.m. my day begins by waking with diarrhea and vomiting. After a couple of hours rushing to the bathroom sweaty and nauseated, it is time to get ready for school. I suffer multiple symptoms including difficulty swallowing, nausea and vomiting, abdominal and chest pain and many more. Eosinophilic Disease is not curable, at least not yet, and I can only manage the symptoms by getting an amino acid formula through a feeding tube that was surgically placed into my stomach.
I often dream about being able to do the things that normal kids my age do. But the thing I want most of all is to have the opportunity to go through the day not feeling sick. I really do not know what it is like to get a good night's sleep, wake up without feeling nauseous, and get through a day without throwing up and having diarrhea.
Most people don’t understand the struggles of living with an Eosinophilic Disease because the disease is not known by many people. This gala, honoring two special people that have educated themselves about the disease and dedicated themselves to spreading awareness will help all of those who live with an Eosinophilic Disease. Awareness will lead to advances in treating Eosinophilic Disease and maybe, one day my dream will become a reality.
I ask Sarah how is it having EGID and going to school and this is what she say:
I actually hate going to school and being sick. I don't get support from the kids at school at all so it makes it a lot harder. A lot of kids also say i am not sick when they have no clue. But all the teachers are awesome about it.