By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Becky Houle Apuzzo is described by those who know her as an energetic and healthy individual.
Not only does she work out regularly and eat well, but she also does not smoke or drink.
But since early June 2015, Becky has been hospitalized for something she did not expect to happen after returning from her honeymoon with her husband David. Becky has been suffering from acute liver failure, and will need a liver transplant.
“This is something that no one can control,” said David Apuzzo, adding how Becky has helped him maintain a healthier lifestyle. “There is nothing she could have done to prevent this.”
Acute liver failure is loss of liver function that occurs quickly — in a matter of days or weeks even in a person who has no pre-existing liver disease, according to mayoclinic.org. Symptoms of acute liver failure include yellowing of the skin or eyeballs, sleepiness, pain in the upper right abdomen, vomiting and nausea, reports mayoclinic.org.
With just a few days left in their honeymoon trip to Hawaii, David said Becky became very tired, and he noticed that her eyes became a bit yellow.
Upon returning to their home in Southington, Becky went to a walk-in clinic to have her blood tested. After spending just one night at home after the trip, she received a call to go to the emergency room. Diagnosed with acute liver failure, Becky spent 30 days at Hartford Hospital before getting transferred to Yale New Haven Hospital on July 6.
“We may never know what caused this,” said David. “This happens and you have to be strong, push through and be there for one another.”
Not only have family and friends showed their support for Becky, but also strangers. Tracy Burek, a friend of Becky who has known her for 10 years now, recently decided to set up an online fundraising page on the GoFundMe website to help David pay for medical bills and other expenses. Both Tracy and Becky grew up in Terryville.
Within just one week, more than $20,000 was raised by over 300 people.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Tracy, adding how the outpour of support on the fundraising page has been inspirational.
After seeing how quickly friends, family and even strangers responded to the fund raising page, David said he was speechless, adding how grateful both he and Becky feel for the outpouring of support.
“It’s overwhelming,” said David, who works as a photographer. “We’re very grateful for it.”
David added that he hopes the fund raising page will raise more awareness about acute liver failure, which Becky did not expect to happen.
“It is something no one should go through,” said David.
Tracy said she hopes to keep the momentum going on the fund raising page. She said once Becky is finally released from the hospital, she will not be able to return to work for an indefinite period of time and will need close medical care. Becky is a hairdresser at Acure Eco Salon in West Hartford.
“It’s a long road,” said Tracy.
The process of waiting for a liver transplant recently came to a halt after Becky suffered an infection in her blood and built up fluid over the past couple of weeks. But earlier this week, David reported on his Facebook page that Becky’s infection has gone down substantially, which means she was re-listed for the liver transplant.
Despite Becky’s struggle, David said his wife has remained strong.
“She’s in very good spirits,” said David, adding that Becky is a fighter. “We’re just trying to get through it.”
David and Becky have been together for 12 years now. He met Becky during his senior year at the University of Hartford.
“I’m such a different person because of her,” said David. “Becky puts everyone in her life first. That has rubbed off on me.”
Tracy, who was a bridesmaid in Becky’s wedding, described her friend as someone who is optimistic and always “makes you feel like a million bucks.” Tracy said Becky has taught her how to love unconditionally.
“Becky is such as selfless person,” said Tracy, adding how Becky is such a selfless person. “She has inspired me to become a better friend.”
Anyone who would like to show their support for Becky, visit her fundraising page at www. gofundme.com/z7hwgw.
By LISA CAPOBIANCO