If I could only explain even half of what Anna has gone through the last year, it would be enough to make any grown man cry. Last October, Anna, the love of my life, was the victim of a horrible car accident. Before this life-changing accident, my girlfriend was the happiest, funniest, most adventurous girl I knew…
In the late afternoon of October 22 2014, Anna and her sister Marissa, were on their way to visit their grandmother at the local hospice center. As they were driving to hospice preparing to visit with their grandmother for the last time, a vehicle driven by an unlicensed and underinsured driver came out of nowhere and blindsided their vehicle on the passenger side, right where Anna was sitting! In an instant Anna’s life would be changed forever.
In the beginning Anna was strong. She was honestly not immediately aware of how catastrophic the damage to her jaw and neck were. During her initial search for answers she left experienced medical physicians baffled because her injuries are so complex and complicated. Anna’s new life as an accident victim has been a life spent in multiple Doctor’s offices. I have watched my girlfriend become lost in a maze of ineffective treatments by a collection of doctors that has left her with unrealistic expectations and considerable false hope. She was told she would be okay in a few months and today, over a year later she is living in continuous overpowering pain and discomfort that has progressed dramatically over time. Her life is literally dictated by her jaw and joint pain while her symptoms continue to amplify weekly. This has taken a serious toll on her spirit and personal morale and has left me in state of despair.
To see my Anna suffer on a daily basis and be powerless to help her has been my own personal tragedy in itself. Just a couple of months prior to the accident, we happily took the step of moving in together. Living with Anna while she has suffered has revealed three important things that I want to share with you...One is how damn tough my girlfriend truly is, both mentally and physically. Anna has refused to let her injuries completely stop her from working or living her life. She is the bravest, strongest woman I know! Second is how traumatic an injury to the jaw and face actually is. I honestly cannot begin to describe what she has gone through. I feel like words simply do her no justice, and even living together its still hard for me to put it into perspective. Third, witnessing and experiencing her desperate search for medical help has given me a whole new respect for anyone with loved ones who suffer from injuries and illnesses that are not easily diagnosed, treated, or worse covered by insurance. It is a beyond stressful, heartbreaking, overwhelming process and I can only wish that none of you will ever have to go through anything similar to this.
On top of the absurdly frustrating fact there are very few credible doctors ANYWHERE who can treat such a serious condition of TMD, we received the most devastating news ever from her medical insurance provider. Her insurance company told us that ANY treatment related to TMJ/TMD is EXCLUDED, will not be covered at all from her medical benefits and I found the same exemption within my own insurance companies policy! It was both offensive and outrageous to find out in a situation like this. Over and over again she keeps getting kicked when shes down, it is so painful for me to see the one girl I want to protect most carry on such agony.
Anna was finally referred to a world-renowned TMD maxillofacial surgeon; but of course with a big catch…Dr. Piper is based in St. Petersburg Florida!!! After a 5 month waiting list and just 2 days shy of a year from the accident she saw Dr. Piper. 1,300 miles and an actual 14 hour consultation, the doctor went ahead and delivered Anna, her father, and myself a lengthy complicated mix of exceedingly difficult news to bear. The problematic part was that Piper’s evaluation revealed the devastating reality that Anna’s injuries are a lot worse than other doctors had previously diagnosed. This was easily the most stressful, longest day of Anna’s life and I could not help but admire how brave she was once she learned about her long and difficult road ahead, he told us this is will be life-long. The doctor laid out what seems like an effective game plan with a long-term strategy in her only hope to find some relief, but again, the bad news… the plan only includes one of the most difficult of all surgeries, with no health coverage, and it must be performed in Florida.
This is the reason why I knew I had to start a Go Fund Me page in Anna’s honor. She needs this surgery to be whole once again! The out-of-pocket expense of the surgery alone is $60,000 and she needs to raise, borrow, and come up with this large sum of money by April 6, 2016. I would do anything to have my girl back to her normal playful self, and to see her enjoying life. Your generous help would go beyond words of appreciation! Please help me save the love of my life! Please help save Anna!
This is my beautiful girlfriend and I at a wedding over the summer before the accident.