Dan's Medical Expenses

$6,540 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 76 people in 7 months
On January 30, 2018, Dan was working on building a goat barn when he had an unfortunate accident with his table saw. Two fingers on his left hand were badly damaged. The emergency room treated him for shock, a dislocated knuckle, gave him a tetnus shot, and bandaged the fingers. There was also bone loss and extensive soft tissue damage, but the ER doctor said they were too busy for the time it would take to fix it, and arranged for Dan to meet a hand specialist at the ER of another hospital. The specialist never showed up, so a resident sewed the muscle and flesh back around the bone.

At a follow-up with a family physician Dan learned that the saw had completely destroyed the one knuckle on his middle finger. A hand surgeon gave him the options of allowing the finger to heal as is or amputation.

Dan and his wife are homesteaders who live a financially meager lifestyle. Much of their work is  maintaining their homestead, and while Dan's part-time job pays ordinary bills, it isn't enough to afford health insurance. 

At this time only one ER bill has been received ($3554.32), with a second still to come. If the second bill is similar to the first, that's an estimated $7000 in emergency expenses alone. Hopefully financial aid from the hospitals will decrease the cost.

Dan's financial needs include paying for two emergency room visits, required doctor visits, plus paying ordinary living expenses until Dan's hand is healed enough to go back to work.
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Good news to report! We received a letter from the second hospital today, telling us we have been approved for financial assistance and will not have to pay the balance of the ER bill. We are still responsible for independent charges for the physician and x-rays, but they are small compared to the ER bill.

Dan has come a long way with his healing but still has a long way to go. We are still following our healing routine with washing, applying healing salves, and bandaging. The worst finger still has some open areas in the wound, and is stiff and extremely sensitive. But Dan's not a sit around kind of guy so he's working on projects as he's able. Being productive again is a huge morale booster.

We have been extremely thankful for your financial, emotional, and spiritual support. They have made the difference between hope and despair. When I set our GoFundMe goal, I had no idea of how much we would need, so I took a guess. We didn't reach that goal but your donations have been enough! We've been able to pay medical bills and expenses, pay our monthly bills, and buy food, household supplies, and fuel. Starting in April we should get a regular income through Dan's social security and we will be okay until then. Consequently I will be closing down our campaign in a few days, but wanted to take this last opportunity to express our heartfelt thanks to you all. May your generosity and kindness be returned to you a hundredfold.
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Firstly, thank you to everyone for your continued support, prayers, and good wishes. It's amazing what individuals who come together can do.

Dan's hand is showing progress! Healing remains slow, but most of the smaller cuts and gashes are now growing new skin. The deepest opening is still draining a bit, but not as badly as previously. He's started to exercise the hand by squeezing a ball of yarn. The fingers are still extremely sensitive and he continues to experience spikes of pain. Our weather has been rainy and chilly, so there's been no temptation to go out and overuse the hand (which is good!)

The second (as yet unpaid) hospital called so he was actually able to talk to someone who could direct him toward help with our bill. They are reviewing it so hopefully I'll soon be able to report that they've reduced it to more accurately reflect the care he actually received.
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We're still waiting on a hopefully revised bill from the second hospital so there's no update on that. Their system is so huge that some bills get sent out of state to one place and others to another state. No wonder it's hard to find someone on the phone that can tell us who to talk to for help.

Healing progress is slow but mostly steady. The sawed fingers are starting to look like fingers! Still no fingernail on the one and you can see where the table saw made it's mark, but he can move it pretty well. The other still has a fingernail, but there are hunks of flesh missing, so that between that and the ends of the knuckle bone being gone, it looks somewhat deformed. He can move that one too, but just a little. He says he has to fight an overwhelming mental image of the finger coming off again. No, that's not rational and he knows it, but it's one of the things he deals with and must force himself to move it. The fingers still hurt and except for an occasional spike of pain he says it's tolerable and no longer takes pain medication. They are extremely sensitive to pressure and cold. He's able to use the hand somewhat, but it's still easy to overdo it and then it aches more than usual.

You all have enabled him to focus on healing rather than worrying about how to pay the bills. For that you have our continued gratitude and thanks.
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This morning Dan spoke with the second hospital about financial aid to pay their ER bill. The gist of it is that they only help people who are over 65 or disabled. His fingers were badly mauled by the table saw, but hopefully he is not permanently disabled, so that doesn't seem an honest option.

The other thing we are trying to do with that debt is contest it because he did not go to the second ER for emergency treatment. He received that at the first ER. He went there because he had an appointment with a hand surgeon and that was where he was told to meet him. We have the doctor's documentation to support this, but whether they will honor it remains to be seen.
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$6,540 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 76 people in 7 months
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