BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) She’s dressed people across Southern West Virginia for some of the biggest moments of their lives. But tonight, the owner of Jean Ann’s Bridal and Prom shop needs your helps as she awaits the most important phone call of her life — for a lung transplant.
Jennifer Ann Skaggs was born with an extremely rare genetic condition called Situs Inversus. At first, she said her doctors thought there was a problem with the x-ray.
“The x-ray tech kept flipping the x-ray. They couldn’t figure out why my organs were backwards.”
The condition by itself, she said, doesn’t necessarily cause problems, but the accompanying condition she has with it does — Primary Cilla Dyskinesia (PCD).
“Not having any cillia in my body, which is supposed to be everywhere. In the lungs, it causes the most problems.”
When Skaggs first opened Jean Ann’s Bridal and Prom Shop in Beckley in her early 20s, the impact of the condition was minimal. It wasn’t until a couple years ago, after she opened a second location in Charleston, that her lungs started to deteriorate.
While her mom is holding down the store in Beckley, Skaggs is now confined primarily to her home and to her Oxygen tank. “I miss my customers. I miss dressing girls for prom and making dreams come true for the next bride to be.”
In the last 12 months, Skaggs has been hospitalized for all most all of it. Her doctors said her lung capacity is now down to 26 percent — she needs a transplant and she needs it soon.
“I’m scared. I’m terrified. When you have a doctor look at you and say you’ve got one to two years on these lungs….I’m still young. I have things I want to do with my life. I just hope that call comes.”
While insurance will cover the medical costs, it will be up to Skaggs to pay for the helicopter to the transplant and she will also have to foot the bill for living expenses before she can travel home.
Those interested in making a contribution may visit https://www.gofundme.com/my-first-breath?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=fb_dn_postdonate_r&fbclid=IwAR2JHwku83RPaJn_2Wk23k1GLrhJDJNEDAaL8m-sA1WM9aYqrgIYVLWASJQ
There will also be a fundraiser at Fujiyama Steakhouse in Beckley on May 19th, from 5 p.m.- close. A portion of the proceeds from dinner will be given to Skaggs.
She also invites anyone to follow her journey at https://www.facebook.com/MsWVAmerica2015/timeline?lst=1401732%3A100007693816241%3A1556656873