Lupus Warrior of the Week

Dr. Nellie August-PRUDHOMME, DNS, MPH, BSN, RN-BC Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Nurse Corps-(Retired) Clinician, Educator, Consultant, Community Activist Dr. Prudhomme, a retired Army nurse and educator, has nearly 50 years of experience in nursing which includes nursing education and practice with a clinical practice focus in community/public health, psychiatric mental health and staff development. Her teaching experiences in nursing programs includes graduate level (MSN, PhD), Baccalaureate (BSN) and Associates (ASN) levels. Current certifications include Mental Health Generalist (ANCC) and Crisis Prevention Instructor (CPI). Her base of mental health expertise ranges from Administration, management, supervisory, staff and education positions in pediatric, adult, geriatric and substance abuse settings in civilian and military sectors. Research interests include health promotion across the lifespan with diverse vulnerable groups. As the recipient of the Women & Children’s Endowed Professorship, she serves as a pediatric lecturer at South Louisiana Community College (SLCC). Dr. Prudhomme formerly served in the role of Program Chair for a new Associates Nursing program ushering initial ACEN accreditation in 4 years of inception with an initial NCLEX-RN pass rate of 93% and 100%.for subsequent 2 years. In the role of Program Chair, Dr. Prudhomme administratively provided coordination and leadership role in curriculum development and evaluation of ASN program.

Responsibilities included: • Faculty Advisor/sponsor for Student Nurses Association Chapter. • Graduate Faculty Preceptor for MSN graduate student Nursing Education Practicum • Faculty liaison initiate and coordinate clinical affiliation agreements • Lead/Core faculty for theory and clinical coordination of specialty courses (Psychiatric/Mental Health and Maternity/Pediatric Nursing Dr. Prudhomme currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Minority Fellowship Program of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and on the Scholarship committee for National Black Nurses Association. Service, Servitude and Volunteerism exemplify the theme and scope of Dr. Prudhomme’s contribution to society on many levels. Her roles and responsibilities in community service is extensive -Summer softball coach for Northside girls team, after work hours mentoring nursing students in research projects, after work hours intervention to military families, Youth Summer Camp psychosocial training, participation in multiple community health screening, Summer Bible school program teacher, Board Director of SWLAHEC, supporting international health efforts during the 2005 Asian Tsunami, to name a few. Ephesians 2:10 guides her efforts in all aspects of her life-professional and social.. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Lupus Warrior of the Week

GM the 4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation here in Lafayette La would like to honor this week: Charlie Jean Smith aka “Charlie”. Meet Charlie, she lives in SC. She was diagnosed with lupus in March, 2016. At that time, she had a blood clot that went to her spleen (splenic infarct). At the time, the doctors had no idea what was wrong with her…cancer, sickle cell….and the list went on. It was her 5th day into her hospital stay, when the surgeon came in and the word “Lupus” was used. Charlie had no idea exactly what lupus was at the time, but she knew she was scared. Along with the lupus diagnosis, she found out she had a slew of other diseases that go hand in hand with lupus. Charlie was sent home with a ton of follow up doctors, unable to work, and scared. On top of dealing with this new diagnosis and failing health, her (then) husband got on drugs (crack) and stole everything she had, right up underneath her nose. Once she was strong enough, 2018, she had him evicted and filed for a divorce. She’s been on my own since then. She have good days and bad days. She’s thankful for her family and true friends that keep her going. Chatlie have 5 (soon to be 6) beautiful grandchildren, and they are her reason to keep going despite the pain and depression. She’s been turned down for disability 3 times now, so she hired an attorney to help her. In the beginning, she asked God “why”. She no longer ask that, but know He has a plan for her! Stay strong….cry, rest, laugh, love. We’ve got this. PS: Show your 💕!

Lupus Warrior of the Week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation of Lafayette, La would like to honor Bettie Carter this week.

A Lupus survivor for 26 years and advocate for 23 years. Chairperson, Health Coordinator, Event Coordinator, Secretary and PR person for “Living Life” with Lupus Support Group, 501(c)3 organization. Lupus Autoimmune Advocacy 2.0 and Tools for Lupus Autoimmune are on Facebook where she also advocates for Lupus.

A mother of 4 daughters, 10 grand children, 2 great grandson, 1 daughter and 1 aunt with Lupus.

Her story started once she moved from California to Chicago August 1994. Driving a truck with all her kids belongings and pulling her station wagon was no fun. She was very healthy, very active and very fit. The first 3 months she felt like she had the Flu or a bad cold, once her face started swelling and cheeks were red she knew it was something else.

She went to the ER about 10 or 12 times within 5 months with pain and swelling and each time she was given creams and pain meds, which only lasted about 2 or 3 weeks. They never could find out what was wrong.

Bettie was able to be pain free for about 2 months and found a job that lasted 3 weeks. One night she went to use the bathroom and the next thing she woke up in ER. She was out for about 2 or 3 hours and when she woke up it was a nurse checking her blood pressure. Bettie asked her where am I and she said, you passed out and you are in ER. After she finish she asked her can I get a blanket and she said yes. As she was comforting her with the blanket she said: Oh, you will be alright you just have “Lupus”.

Bettie asked her what is that, and she said, you haven’t seen the doctor yet, she said no, she said oh well, he will be in to tell you.

Bettie was blown away because she had never heard of Lupus and was very scared. Let’s make this go straight to the point. She found a great Rheumatologist and he keep her Lupus under control for 3 years then it started affecting her bones.

Bettie had to have surgery every other year for 10 years, 3 total hip replacements, a left shoulder and 4 foot surgeries. Her bones brakes easily so, she have broken 2 or 3 of her toes, oh and she can’t leave out, most all her teeth fell out so she have a full upper and working on the bottom. Now when she found “Living Life” with Lupus Support Group her whole life changed.

They have help her to become the person she is, the speaker she became and the advocate she is. She have been in remission for 11 years and she loves what she do for Lupus.

Her family are huge supporters and her grandkids help her more than her kids. She’s very happy to see the platform they have now because when she was diagnosis she could not find one person who knew what Lupus was and if they did they would say, “Oh my friend died from Lupus”. She’s blessed to still do what God called her to do, make the whole world know about Lupus and hopefully find a cure.

Bettie have participated in many events in the Chicago area and surrounding suburbs by speaking at health fairs, schools, churches, hospitals and fundraisers for Lupus. Her organization has received the Proclamation from the Mayor of Chicago declaring May 10th as Lupus Awareness Day in Chicago for the past 3 years. They are also responsible for lighting one of Chicago tallest building downtown, Blue Cross Blue Shield with the words “END LUPUS”. She traveled to Detroit and Milwaukee to help support other Lupus events and fundraisers for the past 6 years. She participated in several Lupus studies at Northwestern Memorial Hospital under her Rheumatologist in Chicago, Dr. Rosalind Ramsey Goldman. She continues to educate the public about Lupus by being a guest on local TV Talk Shows, The AC Green Show V103, Chicago Inspiration Radio 1390AM with Marcella Jones and Living Life In Midlife Radio in Washington DC with Pia King. She spoke at the IL House of Representatives-
97th General Assembly, Chairperson Willie Davis and went to Washington DC to speak to Congresswoman Robin Kelly about more funding for Lupus research. A volunteer for Lupus walks with The Lupus Foundation of America, Lupus Research Alliance and Lupus Society of IL.

Awards:

“She Women Empowerment Award for Outstanding Leadership and Contributions for the Lupus community from CEO Sandra Epps, Detroit Mi.

Letters of appreciation:

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

Eastern Star #151 (past) Worthy Marton Sarah Mayberry

Battlefield for Lupus, Crystal Stotts, Milwaukee, WI

South Shore-Chicago Historical Society

The Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus & Immunology Research

Bettie Carter – Chairperson -PR
Health Coordinator
“Living Life” with Lupus Support Group
bettiebooc@yahoo.com

PS- show your 💕
4asisterslupus.com

Lupus Warrior of the Week

4-A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation in Lafayette, La. would like to honor Emmitt III Henderson for his encouragement, strength and loyalty to self in telling his story. Who thought Emmitt would be here today to tell his story from what Lupus has brought him through? It started in 1980 with a skin rash and fevers that the doctors could not diagnose the cause. This went on a little over a year, then in 1995, Emmitt suffered severe joint pains from almost all his joints. Going into the hospital 3 different times and since only X-rays were done, nothing was found, and he was sent home. Because of frustration, Emmitt did not go back to seek medical attention in knowing nothing was going to be found. As a Dealership Service Manager, his job was too important to keep leaving and getting No results. After almost a year with the inconsistent joint pains, he started having severe lower back pains and fevers, that finally led to a lab test, and the results from the test hospitalized him for further diagnosis. Emmitt was admitted into the hospital and after test after test, after 3 weeks, a lady comes in and tells him she believes he have a disease that may be rare. He asked, “why rare?” she replied because of your age, your ethnicity, and your gender you may have Systemic Lupus. Since he never heard of it before, Emmitt asked, why is it rare? She said because it is known as a Women’s Disease. Of course, as a man, it was hard to accept that but, he knew he needed to get educated on what the disease was as well. There was a point where he was taking up to 30 pills a day, including steroids, the steroids blew him up 45lbs of water weight, he was looking swollen all the time. Because of the aggression of his Lupus, he was on a strong chemotherapy and radiation treatments and had multiple flares every month. Lupus has affected almost all his organs and system, including having heart failure. At this time, he was put into an induced coma to save his Heart, because of this Emmitt was in a coma for over 3 weeks. Once he awakened, his vitals got better, and he was sent to rehab to be able to walk and talk all over again. After that experience, his Rheumatologist suggested that need to have something done because his heart would not be able to stand another flare from Lupus. She suggested he participate in a clinical trial which was a Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplant. After that procedure, my flares had slowed down, and he started to feel better. Although Emmitt felt better, Lupus was not done. From that point, he was on Peritoneal dialysis for over a year, he had a fistula installed, then had a kidney transplant. He was diagnosed with Avascular Necrosis which led to a knee and shoulder replacement, he was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s Syndrome. Emmitt had restricted lung disease and depended on oxygen for about a month. He had ulcers line his throat and esophagus for a long time which required him to feed from a tube for over a week. He had liver disease, his gall bladder removed, and a lesion was found on his brain that till this day, the neurologist does not have a diagnosis for it. He experienced shingles, gout, his finger and toenails all turned black and had a port installed in his arm for blood transfusions. In June 2019, Emmitt decided to advocate for Lupus full time. He created his organization and called it Male Lupus Warriors. He wanted people to know that his advocacy is based on a man’s 25 years with Lupus. Because of his strong mental health status, which got him through the years, Emmitt encourages men to step out of their comfort zone and speak about their experience with living with an autoimmune disease and inspire everyone else. PS: Show your love for Emmitt! 4asisterslupus.com

Lupus Warrior of the Week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation in Lafayette, La would like to honor TaKara Johnson on her encouragement, strength and loyalty to self. She was diagnosed in January 2020 with Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus which affects the skin. TaKara had no clue that she was experiencing a severe flare up when she broke out itching with a severe rash all over her body that turned into sores. She ended up in an Urgent Care. She has scars now all over and it also caused her to lose majority of her hair. TaKara was an active Dental Assistant in the Office but, due to the lupus causing her so much pain she went back being a Dental Assistant Instructor so it could be easier on her body. TaKara started a Facebook page “LYLAS Lupus Awareness Group”, so women with lupus can express and share their feelings about whether going through without being judged. She’s also a CPR Instructor to help the community learn how to save lives. Show your 💕! 4asisterslupus.com

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Evelyn Patton

4-A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to honor Evelyn Patton this week. She was diagnosed with LUPUS & RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS in 2013. She has been in a severe crisis’s twice, and hurts daily. She trys to live her life normal but, sometimes it difficulty too but, she doesn’t gives up. She’s thankful for GOD who gives her strength through her prayes and continue to push herself in life. Evelyn goals in life is to keep pushing because she believes GOD has her back. Evelyn has a yearly activity whereas she gives the homeless people CHRISTMAS. She goes yearly on the weekend before Christmas with a dear friend of hers, Loretta Allen to give out Christmas bags to the homeless. In those backpacks they donate: socks, gloves, skull hats, scarves, clothing such as new and used jackets and other clothing items to stay warm with, they receives snacks such as: candy chips, juices, cookies and others packages items, they also give blankets. They share with them about the love of GOD and to join a local church to know more about GOD the FATHER. They encourage the homeless to pray in and out of SEASON, because 🙏ers changes THINGS, and they let them know they care, this is the reason they do what they do. Evelyn loves helping the ELDERLY in her Church and neighborhood. She’s always giving or doing something for them. She loves helping PEOPLE, because it’s what JESUS who says, “whatever you do unto the least of THEE you’re sisters and brothers, you do it unto Me”. MATTHEW 25:40. This is the first YEAR, she missed helping the HOMELESS and it was due to COVIT-19,🦠 VIRUS, and of LUPUS. Evelyn, 🙏ing this year it will be a safer year to help the HOMELESS to be happy on CHRISTMAS DAY, like everybody else. Her MOTHER HAD RA and LUPUS, OUT OF eight GIRLS and 4 BOYS; she’s the only one with LUPUS. She thanks GOD daily, because she’s a BELIEVER that with JESUS all things is possible through him. That’s the reason she do what she do, and it is to let people know she cares. PS: Show your 💕

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Danielle Archie

4-A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to honor Danielle Archie as our weekly Lupus Warrior.

She began having problems with her legs and feet in 2011. It started with swelling in both legs which was very uncomfortable. It caused her to walk with a slight limp.

The next morning she woke up with feet so swollen that she could barely wear slippers. Not only were her legs and feet swollen, but they were tingly. She couldn’t get comfortable, it was hard to sleep, drive, stand and even sit.

Danielle’s primary doctor ran several tests and couldn’t figure out the problem so he referred her to a Neurologist. The Neurologist ran an astronomical amount of tests. She remember a blood draw where at least ten vials were drawn.

She had to sleep with some sort of monitor for a few nights. She was sent for a test where small needles were placed all over my legs and feet.

Danielle was so tired of being poked and was giving up hope. The Neurologist called her into the office and gently told her that she has neuropathy. She didn’t understand what that meant and he really tried to explain it but, the simplest thing he said was “you’re in a grey area and I can prescribe medicine to ease the pain and discomfort”. He also stated that her blood work showed some abnormalities and referred her to a Hematologist. This was one of the scariest appointments for her because the sign on the door or at least all she saw was “Oncologist”!

She stood there staring for at least five minutes before entering. She was greeted by a Receptionist that offered a gentle smile and explanation. When she met with the Doctor, she informed Danielle that her blood work showed that she has lupus but, she wanted to run more tests because doctors that are not Hematologists generally don’t know what to look for. So off to the lab she went. She was so tired of giving blood, her arms were bruised and sore.

The Phlebotomist was nice…it was like talking to your Aunt. She saw the bruising and promised to be very gentle. The tests came back positive for Lupus Anticoagulant. She was confused and didn’t truly understand what it meant. It was simply explained that her body produces blood clots and depending where the clot is, it will be very dangerous. A few weeks later, her legs was hurting really bad, she couldn’t bend it at all. She found herself back at my Doctors office, from there he sent her for a scan. Ten minutes after leaving that appointment, she received a call stating she had a clot and needed to go directly to her Hematologist. She had to do more blood work and also learn how to administer abdominal shots to herself.

She actually passed out from all of the blood work. She woke up next to patients receiving Chemotherapy. One of the elderly ladies came and sat next to her after her therapy was complete.

She comforted her and told her that her illness may not be like someone else but, that doesn’t make it any less important.

Danielle has to get tested for clots twice a year and conduct self tests. She takes a cocktail of prescriptions to ease the pain and discomfort that she experience.

She continue to pray for her health and thanks God that she’s still alive and able to see 50 in a few months.

Lupus Warrior of the Week

Lynn Broussard

GM 🌎!
4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation in Lafayette, La would like to recognize Lynn Broussard as our Lupus Warrior for this week. ❤

Lynn was diagnosed with Lupus SLE, with mix connective tissue disorder in 2016 at the age of 45. Prior to her diagnosed she was living in Texas, working with homeless women and working on her Master’s Degree in Social Work.

When Lynn was first diagnosed, she was determined not to allow Lupus ruin her life.

A month after being diagnosed, Lynn was determined to get her life back but, God had other plans, she was rushed to the hospital with stomach pains and had to have an ER surgery, which sent her in respiratory failure, was in coma for ten days.

This was when she realized that this illness was something that she needed to take more serious.

Lynn guessed she was in her own denial. Unable to care for herself, she had to return home to Louisiana.

Her family and friends have a great support system, she’s currently working full time with Women of Domestic Violence and completing her Master’s of Social Work. It has not been an easy road according to Lynn, she thanks God everyday for waking her up.

Show your 💘 for Lynn.

Lupus Warrior of the Week

4A’s Sisters Lupus Foundation would like to recognize Shavawna Michelle as our Lupus Warrior this week.

She’s 36 years old from Broussard, La. Shavawna was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis in 2007 at the age of 23. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) to be exact.

There are many kidney diseases but, for her it was Lupus Nephritis, inflammation of the Kidneys.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own body tissues.

Before being diagnosed Shavawna was working, attending school and playing softball. Just living and enjoying her life.

After finding out she was in denial for a long time and it really started to hit her years later in 2009 where she had to have a hip replacement in both hips.

For those first 3 years she tried to work and go to school but, eventually had to stop.

Her life had changed and she didn’t want to accept it. She was over it. It’s like her Doctors words were going in one ear and out the other.
However, she knew exactly what to do and he started it immediately. She was prescribed different medications, did several months of chemotherapy and also started seeing a psychiatrist.

At that time she was also prescribed meds for anxiety/depression and also meds to help her sleep. Pain meds and so on.

Shavawna was so miserable but, prayed, she also had an amazing support system that was there every step of the way.

Within the next few years she was finally in remission and things started to look up. She felt good enough to where she started working again.

Shavawna had good and bad days but, hung in there. In 2015 she had to have her left knee replaced.
She was shocked!
She just knew it was over but, she was wrong.

In 2019 she enrolled back in school part time and is currently working full time doing what she loves. Things get hard and she may feel discouraged at times but, God has never failed her yet.

Shavawna family and friends are amazing. She has no idea where she would be without an amazing support system. They may not have a cure for Lupus yet but, she knows she has to stay positive and do what needs to be done to stay healthy, feel good and just take care of herself.

She’s working full time, back in school and taking it one day at a time. Overall She’s blessed and so thankful.

Shavawna came a long way but, God is not finished with her yet.

Show your 💘