Just days ago Melody Klein Ovink was on a mission to raise more than $470,000 for life-saving surgery in the United States.
Today that worry is behind her.
The 24-year-old found out this week the Ministry of Health had approved her funding application to the high cost treatment pool - money set aside for one-off treatments not paid for by the country's public health system.
"I felt a little bit sick to start with because it was a huge shock," she said of the moment she found out.
"Then I started calling people right away and was like 'you need to know, you need to know' and was trying to tell everyone. It was just a huge surprise."
The Tauranga woman has a rare condition called spinal arteriovenous malformation, which is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels on, in or near the spinal cord.
The disorder also disrupts the blood flow to the spine, which deprives the cells of oxygen and causes them to slowly deteriorate or die. The arteries or veins in the tangle can also rupture and cause bleeding in the spinal cord, which can lead to paralysis or death.
Arteriovenous malformations can occur in different parts of the body, although it is more rare in the spine, and estimates are that 10 in 100,000 people in America have a form of it.
Klein Ovink was diagnosed with it in September last year after going to Tauranga Hospital with huge pain in her neck caused by a small bleed.
Doctors told her no one in New Zealand could operate on it so she was going to have to live with it and hope it didn't bleed again because it would likely kill her.
Surgeons warned that since she'd already had one bleed the risk of another was higher because blood vessel walls can weaken over time.
Desperate to find another option, she contacted the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona, who told her they wanted to operate. They told her it was a risky procedure but the risk was lower than doing nothing and hoping it didn't bleed.
The only catch was that it would cost $470,000 for the surgery, her hospital stay and rehabilitation plus airfares and other expenses.
Determined to go ahead with the surgery before the end of the year, Klein Ovink and her family started saving and fundraising while waiting to hear back on the application to the Ministry of Health.
After the Herald published her story a week ago her Givealittle page jumped from $18,000 to $70,000 but the family were still looking into remortgaging the house or taking out a personal loan.
Klein Ovink, a physiotherapist, said yesterday's news came as a huge relief to her and her family and meant that, rather than planning for the end of the year, she could be in Arizona in the next couple of months.
Although the Government has agreed to cover the cost of the pre-operation testing, the surgery and her hospital stay, the $70,000 donated on Givealittle will cover flights, accommodation and any rehabilitation she may need as well as other costs such as visas and a spot in MIQ.
She said the donations and messages of support received through her Givealittle page had been "mind blowing".
"I knew that people I knew would donate but it was cool to see people who didn't know me contribute. New Zealanders are generous. It made me really proud to be a Kiwi.
"It was a real morale boost having that page."
Klein Ovink said she wanted to say "the biggest thank you ever" to each person who dug into their pocket to donate.
"I'm so grateful for every little bit. I just want to get across how much it's meant to me and my family and everyone around me."
What is spinal arteriovenous malformation?
• An abnormal tangle of blood vessels on, in or near the spinal cord. Without treatment, spinal AVM can permanently damage your spinal cord.
• Sometimes, the AVM may enlarge over time as blood flow increases and compresses the spinal cord, leading to disability or other complications.
• Symptoms usually develop when people are in their 20s, although almost 20 per cent of people diagnosed with it are under 16.
• Symptoms include trouble walking.
• The condition can be treated with surgery to halt or possibly reverse some of the spinal damage.
Source: Mayo Clinic