Dear Mr. President,
I’m sure you get letters all the time from people asking you for help. I guess this is another one, but please at least take the time to read what I have to say. I need to find somebody who will help my mom, she is dying and without some medical care, it won’t be long.
My mom is 48 years old. She was a paramedic for over 20 years. She raised me and my 2 brothers by herself. There were times when she would work 2 or 3 different jobs just so we could get by. In 2002 she was diagnosed with cancer, that’s when everything changed. She had surgery, then chemo and radiation to get rid of the cancer, and as far as we know right now it worked. That’s not where the big problem is. There was complications after the surgery, she received MRSA in the hospital. She was not properly treated for it right away. In fact, for over a year she would have appointments at her cancer doctors office and he would just dig the infection out of her stomach. She would beg him to send her to an infection specialist. He wouldn’t do it. Instead he would just keep trying to get rid of it the same way he had been, most of the time not even numbing the area. She had a hole in her stomach the size of a softball by the time he finally sent her to the proper doctor. After a lot of very painful treatments and a reconstructive surgery the hole in her stomach was closed up and the infection was no longer out of control. She was no longer employed by this time, her disability had run out.
Things started to get worse shortly after the surgery, at the time she had qualified for disability and was getting some help. Because of the infection and the surgeries she had, she no longer had any stomach muscles left. She started to develop several hernias. In a period of 2 years she had over 9 surgeries to try and repair the ruptured hernias. Every time one would get fixed another one would burst. Then she was cut off disability. We couldn’t understand why. They said she was able to work. Her doctors said she wasn’t able to life over 5 lbs. She would never be able to do the job she loved so much. She loved being a paramedic. We kept applying for disability. We went to see their doctors, the last one she saw, said the hernia in her stomach was 17 inches, and they still denied her. She had no choice but to go back to work. It’s not like she don’t want to work, in fact she hates not working. She got a job working in a mental facility. She had found another job she loved..
The ruptured hernias in her stomach started to get bigger and she was having a lot of other problems. She went back to her family doctor and he ordered a bunch of tests. They found she had masses growing on her bladder and kidneys, but that’s all they could see because of the meshes that were supposed to be holding in her internal organs. In order for them to know what the masses were and where all they were at they would have to do something about her stomach. She has already had 3 feet of her intestines removed because they went through a mesh and got twisted. We didn’t know what to do. We searched everywhere trying to find somewhere that would do the surgery, it’s not going to be an easy one and with all her medical problems it will take a lot of work and money, and without insurance no one wants to help.
We were told to contact the Cleveland Clinic. We thought our prayers had been answered. They said they had programs to help people without insurance and that they could help us. There was a lot of paperwork to fill out and things to do. They told us in order to qualify we had to make sure there were no programs in Michigan that would help. There aren’t. For an adult with no dependants there are no programs to get help. We got denied for Medicaid, got mom’s income sheets and took them to Cleveland with us for our first appointment. We went to the financial office and got everything set up. They said she was approved and set her up with several doctors appointments for the same day, well actually it was a couple days in a row. She had to see many different doctors so she could be cleared for surgery. We made a couple different trips down there to see different doctors. This was not an easy thing for us, it was over a 5 hour drive, we had to stay for several days at a time, and mom was not able to work, her family doctor had already taken her off work. Money was and is very tight. I took a buy out from my job so that I could take care of her and the money I get from unemployment is barely enough for the 2 of us to live on. I would have been making a lot more money had I stayed working, but I would never be able to live with myself if I wasn’t there to take care of her. She comes first, I will sacrifice everything else. After a couple trips they scheduled her surgery. It was scheduled for March 10th.
A couple of weeks ago we got a call from the financial office at Cleveland and they said her surgery had been cancelled because she didn’t have insurance. This confused us. We couldn’t understand why they would have her go see all the different doctors, set her up for surgery and then cancel. They knew she didn’t have insurance, that’s why she had to do all the paperwork ahead of time. She made several calls trying to figure out what was going on, they told us they never said they would help, but they did. So now here we are with thousands of dollars in doctor bills that were all pre-op appointments for a surgery they are now not going to do.
This brings me to where we’re at now. In the past few weeks mom has gotten a lot worse. The hernias are so bad in her stomach now that her skin can no longer stretch any more. Her stomach is very deformed and you can see the different lumps under her skin. It won’t be long before they burst right out of her skin. She thinks something has already burst on the inside because of how sick she is now. I’ve never seen her like this, not even when she was going through chemo and radiation. I don’t know what else to do or who to turn to. She has impacted so many lives, she has saved so many lives and when she needs saving we can’t find anyone to help her. I know with the new stimulus plans there are going to be more ways to get help, but it’s going to be too late for her. She doesn’t have enough time left. I can’t stand the thought of her dying knowing that no one was willing to help her. Her spirits are broken and she feels that all the roads have closed. She has worked so hard all her life just to be left to die with nobody willing to stand up for her and help her out. I’m not asking for a handout, all she wants to do is not live a life of pain. She is in so much pain all the time. She wants to get the surgery done, find the cancer if it is there and go back to work. I can’t stand the thought of losing her. We are all each other has left. She is my best friend, and she doesn’t deserve to go through what she is going through.
Please, will you help me save my mom and show that there are people willing to help out, that there are still good people out there that are willing to help out another person in need. I thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter.