Russell Miller's Medical Bills

I am Russell Miller and over the last 6 months, I developed a raging bought of diverticulitis that just wouldn't go away. On April 22 I was scheduled to have a "colon reduction" surgery to remove the infected area, and bypass the continual inflammation and perforations that kept developing from mass infection.

Unfortunately, my surgery went about as poorly as could be without killing me. A portion of my bladder had fused with my colon, and created an infection in my bladder. A portion of my bladder was removed, and the resection surgery was not possible. Moreover, I ended up with a colostomy bag, and was split from chest to groin with deep tissue damage and repairs needed.

I have been in and out of the hospital since the middle of February. This has come at a great financial toll. As most of you know, I work with the USDA, but am not a Government employee, I work for a civilian company that sub-contracts to the USDA. This makes me a W-2 wage earner, like everyone else in the private sector. However, in an attempt for the Government to keep costs down, and employ more civilians, they classify employees like me in special ways. Notably, I am a "temporary, part-time" employee. In short, I can't qualify for benefits, and can't receive unemployment. All my time is logged by mileage, and hourly rate, then billed by civilian employer to the USDA. In short, the only time I make money with my job is when I am on the road. The hourly wages are a fraction of my mileage totals.

Because of my continual hospitilzation, my wife ended up losing her job jut before Easter. In short, both of us have not been working for over a month, and it looks like I have a long road to go before I begin to get back some basic work in the end of June.

We have no insurance or savings. To say we live paycheck to paycheck is an understatement. There are many paychecks the money is spent before it arrives. We have no family that can loan us money or carry us through as most of our parents and step-parents have passed, and any siblings or others just can't help at this point.

I am asking for help to get through the next few months of being able to pay my bills, cover costs, and help my family get me too and from the hospital about 2 hours away, and cover any hotel stays as required as almost all surgeries I have had, or plan to have, are classified as "out-patient". Our requirements are minimal, but we do have cost of living bills that are just piling up as we go through each month. My wife's job fluctuates on "need" and she barely gets above "part time" status. Her pay is minimal, and we can't sustain our costs on her income alone.

I am not one to beg and cry the "poor mouth" although we have always made sacrifices and lived very economically on minimal pay. I find myself in a desperate situation with no where to turn, and can't afford to be evicted or relocate at this time, as I am out of commission.

Thank you to any and all who can contribute any amount, and even good wishes and prayers are quite helpful at this point. Any of the above that you can give will be greatly appreciated, and somehow, someday, returned in kind or paid forward to another family in need.
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Russell Miller 
Menomonie, WI
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