For the past 8 years my friend Laurie has been struggling in silence, never complaining or asking for anything. She works hard to support her family after a heart attack left her husband Robert with severe brain damage. His brain was deprived of oxygen for a long period of time causing him to lose practically everything that made him who he was. He does not speak or communicate, cannot feed himself or use the restroom without help. He requires 24-hour care and and is lucky to have an incredibly devoted wife by his side. I would argue that most spouses would not be so strong but she’s committed to upholding their wedding vows “in sickness and in health” despite there being virtually no chance of him regaining his faculties. Laurie always has a smile on her face and an upbeat attitude but I feel that her sorrow might always be just below the surface.
Laurie works a full-time job, she is single handedly paying their mortgage, health insurance, keeping food on the table and maintaining the household for her husband, mother-in-law, and son. It is understandably a constant struggle. While she is at work, her son or mother in law look after his Robert but both now have serious medical problems of their own.
As if these challenges were not enough, her now 20 year old son Kyle has begun having seizures and has been in and out of the hospital several times per month. He’s had to be taken by ambulance numerous times while Laurie’s been at work. Every time she leaves work and rushes to be by his side. The seizures have become so severe that in one instance he had to be hospitalized for two weeks as they were not able to control them. He has subsequently been diagnosed with epilepsy and is undergoing further evaluations while the seizures continue about once per week. He can no longer drive or be left alone. Her situation is beyond difficult.
While we cannot fix any of these problems for her I’ve tried to identify ways to help. She faces a daily challenge getting her husband into and out of their bathtub shower. Over the last 8 years she has fallen and injured herself several times doing so. Among other things I feel like installing an accessible shower would be a good place to start in making life a little easier.
I have never felt so compelled to start a campaign like this, but I feel Laurie deserves to have some grace happen in her life. I’m asking anyone who has the means, to please donate or share this story. The money raised will be used to have a handicap accessible shower installed in her bathroom and to make some modifications to her home that will make caring for her husband, son, and mother in-law less difficult on her.