After an excruciatingly painful September and October 2013, while serving in the Chile Vina del Mar mission, Hermana Pendleton came back home to Kaysville, UT to have surgery. Despite her determination to continue serving, her health had deteriorated to the point that it was necessary to address a condition she had called Pilonidal Disease. It is very common among young adults ages 18-30; yet, seldom talked about because of the potentially embarrassing location of the condition.
A great site for more information is http://www.pilonidal.org/education/whatisit.php
Quite honestly, Katie has been very open about the whole thing and we all felt it was beneficial to talk about the condition - especially since there may be others who are suffering from Pilonidal Disease, but do not know what the problem is. Thankfully, there is help to be had. Because the church has seen so many missionaries that suffer from this condition, they have had a specialist, Dr. Glen Morrell, trained by the nation's leading Pilonidal specialist on how to effectively treat and successfully operate on the church's missionaries that are suffering from the symptoms.
We are grateful to Dr. Morrell (who, ironically enough, happens to live in our Stake) for his wonderful care. Katie was very blessed and experienced a rapid recovery. The average post-operative healing time is usually six weeks. Katie was cleared to return to the mission field between four and five weeks. She ran a sub two-hour half marathon (just for fun) at seven weeks post-op! The young lady is incredible!
After visiting with our Stake President, Katie was given the opportunity to decide if she wanted to return to the mission field in Chile or stay stateside. After much prayer, she felt it would be best if she finish her mission in the United States. A request was submitted by our Stake Pres. and a few days later, she learned that her remaining time as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be spent in the California San Diego Mission (Spanish speaking!) It couldn't be more perfect!
For a good laugh, watch the video below to see Hermana Pendleton in the surgery recovery room as she rants about "Jesus-time." She was obviously still in missionary-mode. So funny!