Family Overcomes Obstacles Together

Conchatta loves life. She’s winsome and funny, and even though her body is rebelling, she overcomes obstacles every day in her fight for life.

She has a good reason to fight. “I have a 16-year-old at home,” Conchatta says, referencing her son, Anthony Riley, Jr. “I fight harder because of my family.” She says she gets her fighting spirit from her grandparents who raised her. “I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today if they didn’t do what they did.”

The 46-year-old worked in childcare for 20 years. It was during that time period that she first became ill. After discovering that her blood pressure was extremely high, she went through all kinds of testing. “They found out I had kidney failure on top of the high blood pressure,” Conchatta explained. “A couple of years later…I started dialysis. I did that for 16 years. It was really hard.”

According to the wife and mom, her many years of dialysis also caused calciphylaxis, a disease that occurs when calcium deposits build up in the blood vessels, blocking blood flow. It forms deep and painful lesions on the skin.

Conchatta is quick to credit her husband, Anthony Riley, Sr., for caring for her during the many years of her health crisis, even tending to her wounds from her calciphylaxis. “He did the bandages, he did the taping up, taking care of me, going back and forth to the doctor’s office. I’m so thankful for him. Without him, I wouldn’t know where I would be,” she tearfully expresses.

Even though Anthony has his own health issues, he conveys that the hardest part for him is watching his wife suffer. “It takes a lot out of you, watching somebody go through this stuff. It’s not easy. You know, dealing with her sores… I just try to make sure she’ll be around with me longer.

“My love for her is stronger [because of all of this].”

Thankfully, her calciphylaxis is currently under control, but Conchatta now finds herself not only in kidney failure but also in liver and heart failure. She’s also legally blind. Conchatta desperately needs a kidney transplant but was told by her physician that before she can receive any form of a transplant, she first needs surgery to get a new heart valve.

It’s been a long process, but at her most recent visit to the cardiologist, Conchatta received the news she had been waiting for: “The doctor told me he can fix my heart valve!

“That is a huge blessing,” she shared. “I am very, very grateful for that.”

Conchatta hopes the heart valve surgery will occur by Christmas. “If it’s Christmas, that would be a really good present!” she jovially comments.

During many trips from their home in Elkhart, Indiana, to visit specialists in Indianapolis, the family has been so grateful to have a home-away-from-home at Fair Haven.

Says Conchatta, “The first time I called, Amanda said, ‘Yes! We would love to have you!’ I’ve felt welcome ever since. They ask me how I’m doing, and I get phone calls where they’re checking in on me. I have someone to talk to.”

She’s also grateful for all the donors who support Fair Haven. She recounts the many blessings, saying, “…to have food in the refrigerator. To use the laundry. To maintain the rooms where we live and sleep while we’re here…and most importantly, to have a safe place!

“When I come here, I feel like I’m home.”

Conchatta keeps fighting for her health, grateful still to have each new day with her family.

Her son, Anthony Riley, Jr., is behind his mom all the way. “She’s a strong woman,” he says proudly. “She can get through this.”

Through your support, Fair Haven provides the blessing of a home-away-from-home for families battling a serious illness. Bring hope to families like Conchatta’s today with your gift of support.