Jodi's Medical Expenses

My mother is only 55 years old. She is the mother of three children, four step-children, and the grandmother to eight beautiful grandchildren.  Her husband, Jim, is a loving, caring and devoted husband, having been by her side for the past 20 years.  She worked for over 15 years in the Silicon Valley as a respected business woman at a highly profittable company.  When my father passed away from cancer, she moved heaven and earth to make sure that my brothers and I were able to properly greive and spent the following years making sure our emotional needs were met.  She mothered a child with a physical disability who, through her love, affection and devotion, went on to become a sucessful motivational speaker who talks of overcoming obstacles in schools across the world.  She is a brave, strong and loving person.

In 2006, while helping move me into my college dormroom in Redding, CA, she was bit by a tick. Unfortunately, the location of the bite was never discovered, but this small bite has ruined her life. Her health declined, first slowly, but then more rapidly than her doctors could understand.  Her symptoms mimicked those of advanced stage Rheumatoid Arthritis which led to an eight-year misdiagnosis.  The medications she was put on by her medical providers broke down her body; her hands folded and are no longer able to straighten and clamp properly, her immune system deteriorated, her weight skyrockted and her mobility declined. The water retention and joint pain had her laid up in bed for months at a time and, eventually, she was unable to leave the house or be around the people she loved for fear of catching even the common cold, which could be her demise. 

Unable to stand due to a combination of pain, weight gain, water retention and intense joint pain, she spends her time with her feet and legs reclined in order to keep the swelling at bay.  My step-father, who is 71 years old and is still having to work in order to afford my mom's medical care, insurance and medication, took on all of her home care needs.  At his age, he is cooking, cleaning, working full-time, helping her to and from the bathroom, helping her stand from a sitting or laying position, and maintaining all her needs as if she is a child.  

About four years ago, she saw a specialist in CA which gave her a Lyme Disease diagnosis.  It was too advanced to really treat it and she began even more medication, on top of all the other medications she was already prescribed.  Twice a day, she takes between 10 and 20 pills, some which make her nauseaus, other which make her tired.  More recently, in the winter of 2015, the medication having depreciated the function of her immune system to almost nothing, she was exposed to a simple cough which landed her in the hospital for 60 days with a brain infection.  

Her health problems, coupled with her inability to be exposed to anyone with as simple as a cold, has kept her from working  for the past 8 years.  She has drained her retirement and my step-dad's income is insufficient in affording her health insurance, treatment, and medication.  They have sold all but the essentials and are still struggling to made ends meat. 

In April 2017, she tore the muscle in her left knee and conitued to reinjure it trying to get to and from the bathroom, or into their vehicle to transport her to and from medical appointments.  Then, last Sunday, the day after her 55th birthday, she fell. She ruptured her patella in her left knee and tore the meniscus in her right knee, completely immobilizing her.  Having called 911, she was transported to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery to repair her patella.  Upon being discharged, she was placed into a nursing home, indefinitely, until she is able to forego physical therpay, a feat which would have been close to impossible before the injury to her legs due to the multiple other medical factors. 

Her insurance does not and will not cover the nursing home or the physical therapy they provide.  The chance of her being exposed to an illness while admitted which she catches and causes additional health problems is too great to risk.  Thus, I am asking for financial help to get her a home care nurse to get her out of the facility until she recooperates.  Her medical expenses are too great without having to pay out of pocket for the nursing home.  I do not know the cost of this type of care but, between the looming surgery bill, her hospital stay, the growing nursing home expenses, the daily medication expenses and the need for a home health professional to help her and keep her from being exposed to illneses which could kill her, I don't believe that the above amount would even begin to cover it all, but it is a start.

Anything you are able to give is appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I really hope that her story has touched you in some way.   Please help. The thought of losing my mom, after having already lost my dad is too much to bear.


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James Jarnagin 
Medford, OR
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