Bridget O'Malley's medical bills

$22,290 of $25k goal

Raised by 310 people in 3 months
Amanda Degener
on behalf of Mary O'Malley
 MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Bridget O'Malley: friend, daughter, artist, human, papermaker, teacher, mentor, fighter, and dog-lover.  Full of thoughtful insight, smart sass and ideas, and to quote Tim Barrett "a hardworking lass".

One week before Christmas 2016, Bridget was diagnosed with a spinal infection.  She required immediate surgery, staying in the hospital for about a week and the infected bone parts in her spine were removed (from T1-T8) and replaced with metal. Bridget has a 25% copay insurance plan. She is in physical therapy and fortunately walking again and will soon be home. The details of her recovery are currently unknown but she will no longer be allowed to lift a 22" x 30" handmade paper mould. As a master hand papermaker this will be a big change.

Bridget needs our help. She does not have enough to cover her living costs and medical expenses while out of work during treatment and recovery. She makes her living adjunct teaching at MCAD term by term, making handmade paper and making art. Her spirits are high, the biggest stress she’s expressed is the financial part of this equation. Fortunately, financial support is the easiest thing for many of us to help with, in any amount. She needs us; her friends, family, students, colleagues and acquaintances to help her along the way. Financial support, during this tenuous time will take a huge weight off her shoulders. I know we’d all love to see that her energy be spent fighting and staying positive and light, not weighed down by medical burden. Medical updates will be forthcoming.

Let’s come together and show some collective muscle by easing some of her struggle! She’s not alone in this. We are all here for her and this fund is going to help her get through this with a lot less stress and a lot more love on her side!

The financial support will be going towards: Medical Bills Recovery (4-6 weeks), Mortgage, Utilities, Car/Health Insurance,  and Food. Message me for Bridget's cell if you would like to give a call. She could also use help moving her things from the downtown studio (the building was sold) to her home before the end of March, call Cave to coordinate.

Thank you, and let’s give this woman a break with our love and support.
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Update 10
Posted by Amanda Degener
1 month ago
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Bridget came to the public lecture of Prof Lu Jingren at MCBA tonight and she looked great. She was out of her brace but you can see mobility is tough for her. Spring cannot come too soon. Thanks for donating, it has made a huge difference to her.
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Update 9
Posted by Amanda Degener
1 month ago
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A number of people have asked for more details regarding Bridget's situation. To explain a bit, a large part of her spine (T1-T8 which is over 12" long) was partly consumed by a bacteria, the doctor scraped the bacteria away and replaced parts of her spine with metal. She is in a brace except when she sleeps, she cannot turn her head so she is not driving and cannot lift more than 5 lbs.

Her back hurt and like most of us do, she self diagnosed thinking it was her dog pulling her too hard on the leash. For over a month she would come to Cave and just sit at the desk even though there was no desk work to do. I was really worried about her. When chatting with her about this unusual behavior she would say she was depressed because of Cave having to move. We discussed medication or talking with a specialist. There was an incident at her home and she got her neighbor to take her to the hospital. She was there for 9 days including Christmas Day. She is home now and taking one day at a time.

She has health insurance but must pay 25 % of the medical bills. 9 days in the hospital will be a lot of money for her to pay and she continues to have tests done. She will no longer be making large paper and is stepping out of Cave Paper. I imagine she will go on disability, and she has a friend helping her figure out if she qualifies. She can go up and down stairs so is at home, and her family has been wonderful. She does not want me to organize a Google calendar but says just give her a call, come visit and maybe she will ask you to carry something or help in some way. I had a very bad cold so did not see her for a while (a cold is the last thing she needs!) but she did come over Wed night and is moving much better! So if you are feeling healthy and want to see her just call her up 612-807-7201. Thats how she wants it to go so that is how "organized" we are getting.

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Update 8
Posted by Mary O'Malley
2 months ago
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Hi everyone, I continue to heal. Winter can be a time to hibernate a little, but this is extreme. I' ve gotten out a few times for short excursions to the doctor, and had yummy soup over at Amanda's the other day. I' m taking one day at a time and celebrating little improvements in my movement. Thanks for your support. I love and appreciate you all. Bridget
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Update 7
Posted by Amanda Degener
2 months ago
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As you know Cave is moving out of the Campbell Logan building at the end of March and into a smaller studio (with heat and windows) and I found these photos while packing today and decided to share them. It is hard to believe we have been working there for 22 years. Happy 2017 with huge changes and thanks to all you wonderful people for giving Bridget such emotional and financial support.
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Read a Previous Update
Amanda Degener
2 months ago

Bridget taught last Monday and it went really well. She was glad to see the students again. She says she just takes one day at a time.

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Diana Eicher
2 months ago

I love these pictures! They are incredible!

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Paula Marie Gourley
2 months ago

Wishing you well and holding you in my thoughts. You are fortunate to receive so much financial support in this situation.

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Cecile Webster
3 months ago

Bridget, I am so happy that you are at home!I hope things continue to progress and that you will be back on your feet soon.

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$22,290 of $25k goal

Raised by 310 people in 3 months
Created December 23, 2016
Amanda Degener  
on behalf of Mary O'Malley
ED
$50
Elizabeth Degener
1 month ago
PP
$50
Pamela Paulsrud
1 month ago

Sending love...

$25
Anonymous
1 month ago
$100
Anonymous
1 month ago
TB
$50
Tom Bannister
1 month ago

Hang in there Bridget.

SL
$100
Sue Leopard
1 month ago

Dear Bridget, Sending love and every good wish to you

$50
Anonymous
1 month ago
JN
$50
Jon Neuse
1 month ago
MS
$100
Marge Salik
1 month ago

Wishing you an easy recovery. From your friends at Talas

EK
$80
ELLEN KENNEDY
1 month ago
Amanda Degener
2 months ago

Bridget taught last Monday and it went really well. She was glad to see the students again. She says she just takes one day at a time.

+ Read More
Diana Eicher
2 months ago

I love these pictures! They are incredible!

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Paula Marie Gourley
2 months ago

Wishing you well and holding you in my thoughts. You are fortunate to receive so much financial support in this situation.

+ Read More
Cecile Webster
3 months ago

Bridget, I am so happy that you are at home!I hope things continue to progress and that you will be back on your feet soon.

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