LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – “It’s overwhelming and crazy. I mean even to think I would get this interview because of the ongoing story.
That’s because just 20 weeks ago, 46-year-old Emily Presley was completely healthy. STEM teacher at Wellington Elementary School, wife of Jeff Presley and mother of Jackson, 13, and Ella, 16. In May, Presley contracted what she thought was a cold. A few days later, she knew something was seriously wrong.
“When I walk in I can just see her. I knew it wasn’t good,” Emily’s husband Jeff said.
Within 30 minutes of being admitted to Baptist Health, Presley was put on a ventilator and then into a medically induced coma. Jeff learned that she had parainfluenza presenting as bronchitis. This caused his immune system to crash and Presley contracted a bacterial staph infection along with pneumonia.
“It lit up his lungs like a volcano.”
At that time, the fan was useless. Presley was taken to the UK hospital, where an ECMO machine was the only thing keeping her alive for 18 weeks. Until Saturday, when a bed became available at the Northwestern in Chicago.
“It’s overwhelming, which is a word I bet I’ve used a million times through it all. Overwhelming, intimidating, exhausting. So once we get here, we adjust to a new place It’s a whole new hospital, new staff, new routine.
And a new apartment where Jeff will live for the next 12 months while Emily is treated. Jeff’s mother will stay at their home in Lexington with their children.
“She is cheerful by nature. I call it the social butterfly. I am introverted. She is outgoing. I’m biased, but I see how her friends, fellow teachers, principal and family have rallied around her. That says a lot about who she is.
Tens of thousands of dollars are streaming in through a GoFundMe his friends started. Like Presley said, all they can do now is keep helping Emily write a better story.
“If it was a book, it’s just a middle part. It’s just chapters being written. It’s definitely not the end. So we tried to live and be inspired by this motto to live the best story.
If you would like to donate or learn more about Emily’s story, you can find a link to the GoFundMe here.
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