In her mid-thirties, Kristen felt like she was on top of her game. She was a successful dentist, in great health, and had an active social life. She enjoyed running and spending time with her family and friends. However, she did feel one thing was missing from her life, and that was children. Kristen decided it was time to start a family, and soon began undergoing IVF treatments to improve her chances of pregnancy.
As a result of the IVF treatments, Kristen developed a rare condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). In Kristen's case, OHSS led to a blood clot that paralyzed her left side. Kristen was confined to a wheelchair for months. She was unable to work and couldn't drive. After months in rehabilitation, Kristen has regained limited use of her left side, including her hand. She is hoping to eventually return to her career.
Kristen's ongoing rehabilitation led to increased medical bills and financial stress. She is thankful that she has friends and family that have helped her cope. "I was in perfect health and had my life planned out one day, and the next I was partially paralyzed and my life turned upside down," she says. "It just goes to show that disability can happen to anyone, at any time. From experience, I know that everyone needs to take the time to prepare for the financial impacts that come when the unexpected happens."
To protect the privacy of those impacted by a disability, only first names are used and the photo is not of the actual individual profiled.