MILWAUKEE -- Halfway there! After not being able to eat or sleep properly and do day-to-day functions because of a life-altering condition -- a Milwaukee man is gaining abilities and courage thanks to a surgery that many of you helped him get!
You may remember Keith Crowell.
FOX6 News introduced you to him in late November. He suffered from massive keloids -- about 50 pounds of flesh which took over much of his neck and face. He had nowhere to turn, and that`s when FOX6 News brought his story to you.
Your generosity is helping him get back to the man he used to be.
FOX6 News met up with Crowell once again at his church -- Hampton Avenue Church of Christ. He sat among the congregation, thankful for the love and support.
"The phone calls, the letters, people in church praying for me. I'm just touched in such a great way," said Crowell.
He's had an amazing transformation so far.
"I feel overjoyed. I feel I can jump," he exclaimed.
It`s been an emotional transition.
"I'm overwhelmed. I feel great about it," said Crowell.
For the past 12 years, Crowell has lived with a serious affliction. After getting nicked at a barber shop, instead of healing, keloids developed and mounds of skin grew on his face and neck. When insurance denied his procedure, referencing the debilitating ailment as cosmetic, Crowell turned to fundraising.
After his initial story aired on FOX6, donations to his GoFundMe.com account skyrocketed to nearly $25,000.
"I feel the compassion. I feel everyone in my corner. I'm just grateful from the bottom of my heart," said Crowell.
Crowell was put in touch with a plastic surgeon in New York who removed the masses from half of his face.
"I'm finally getting the chance to get this done. I feel better. I`m halfway there now," said Crowell.
Wanting to perform the procedure in stages, the doctor treated the remaining keloids to shrink them.
"A radiation treatment to it," said Crowell.
Crowell is healing both on the outside and inside.
"My confidence has come back. My ability to be me. I talk to people a little bit more. I can do a lot more than before," said Crowell.
His condition was inhibiting. It caused sleepless nights, and difficulty swallowing and hearing.
"I can hear better on both sides than what it was before. That`s great to me, knowing that I`m not limited," said Crowell.
The agony is subsiding, and Crowell has made remarkable progress and is excited for what`s in store.
"I see a better future, a better experience because I`m at halftime right now with my body. One half is done, and I'm looking at the future for the second half -- to get the second half done. Then that way, I feel I will be in full bloom," said Crowell.
FOX6 has learned that the doctor who performed Crowell's surgery has 96% success rate in removal of keloids, and preventing them from re-forming.
If you would like to continue to help Crowell along on his journey, CLICK HERE to donate to his GoFundMe.com account.