Jarianny Márquez and Lesmer Jurado had only been married a few months before their love was put to the ultimate test and the pair was faced with a devastating tragedy.
The Venezuelan couple had moved to Bolivia to begin their new married life together when they were involved in a terrifying bus accident in February.
The driver of the bus lost control of the vehicle and hit another car head-on, Márquez said.
Two people died in the accident and the 26-year-old Marquez ultimately lost her right arm. Her left arm was also severely damaged, left “hanging on by a single strip of flesh.”
"When I saw her, it really is the strongest pain I have ever experienced in my life," Jurado said.
The young journalist went on to spend months in the hospital as doctors furiously tried to save the function of her left arm.
“The doctors told me that it would be easier to have my left arm amputated, but I insisted on fighting for it, despite the fact that this meant disfiguring my legs and abdomen to transplant skin to my arm,” she wrote on a fundraising page for her medical needs.
Ten surgeries and less than a year later, and Márquez and Jurado, with the help of another family, have come to Chicago in a desperate search for new medical treatments.
The answer, however, has led to another massive challenge.
On her left side, Marquez said doctors in Chicago told her she has early ankylosis, or the fusing of her bones, which has rendered her left elbow immobile.
“This means that I can only swing my shoulder,” she wrote. “I can’t bend my elbow, nor straighten my arm, and I have very little mobility in my hand and fingers due to the severity of the injuries to my bone, nerves, arteries and skin. The doctors have emphasized that any further surgery would be dangerous, and that I should consider the current disability of my left arm to be permanent.”
Still, doctors said Márquez qualified for a life-changing prosthesis on her right side.
"It is very important for us, the right arm, because at this time, my husband's hands are mine," said Márquez.
The prosthesis that Márquez needs costs more than $94,000 and the couple does not have health insurance, they said. So, they started a You Caring fundraising campaign.
“Due to the fact that I cannot use my left arm, this prosthesis for my right arm is the only way I will be able to function on my own again,” she wrote. “With this prosthetic arm, I will be able to eat, go to the bathroom, open doors, and get dressed on my own. What I most desire is to go on with my life, caring for my husband and our future children, and achieving the career of my dreams as a journalist.”
So far, the fundraising campaign has raised $2,000 of the $100,000 goal.
Those looking to help the young couple can also send checks referencing Jarianny Marquez to Hanger Clinic, located at 11231 W. Cermak Rd., in Westchester, Illinois.