Andy's Health Fund

On April 2, 2017, my 38 year old son, Andy Mendez, suffered 2 strokes and 2 major heart attacks in a 5 day period.  On the 2nd day of this whole process he had quintuple by-pass surgery.  After a total of 6 weeks in St Mary’s in Apple Valley and Ballard in San Bernardino we were able to bring him home. Through all of this we had to make sure that we were doing the best to maintain a normal home life for his 3 children who are 14, 9 and 7 years old, since he is their only parent.  He was learning to walk again and take care of himself, but on August 20 tragedy struck again.  He suffered another major stroke and had to be air-lifted to Loma Linda. Just like the first crisis in April, this time was touch-and-go, but with much more serious complications.  Aspiration pneumonia, Sepsis, and MRSA were some of the complications. They discovered that he had a rare genetic condition called Wallenberg Syndrome that caused this medical problem. He is in a wheelchair, trying to learn to walk again, but the results are not as good as we had hoped. Other complications of Wallenberg’s are the inability to swallow, hoarseness that makes one unable to talk {he has been able to learn to talk again, but his voice is very weak and different from before} and unable to care for himself in many things that are part of everyday life. He was on a feeding tube until the end of October. Since he has a swallowing disorder that is part of Wallenberg’s, meal prep and eating is a very serious business in our house. Also, 22 prescription pills a day that have to be swallowed with applesauce since his swallowing ability is no longer normal. In the beginning we had to pay for some of his meds, and still incur transportation costs and a special diet.  Many times we have had to rent a van to transport him.  Also, doctors have recommended that we get him an adjustable bed for both comfort and medical complications, but insurance will not cover that, as well as an electric scooter.  Juggling doctors has been a red-tape nightmare ever since.  We had to file a complaint on one primary doctor because he insisted on treating him without the help of specialists!  He has a total of 6 specialists, plus a new primary and physical therapy between Apple Valley and Loma Linda.  I can’t even go into the problems that we had with arranging disability which he still does not have!  During this time we have spent thousands of dollars out of our own pockets for transportation to the hospital, as well as medication that was not covered once he came home.  We have now started to receive letters from collectors who want money that my son does not have to pay them.  We now have no way to help him financially.  My husband has been unable to work for the past year due to medical problems and that is still a red tape nightmare.  I realize that there are things more important than my pride, and on a teacher’s salary I can only do so much as the primary wage earner.  As difficult as this has been on my husband and me, the worst part is what it has done to his children. They were with him both times when the ambulance came. His son has Autism and now has been suffering from a form of PTSD in children that doctors are hopeful will eventually be resolved with treatment. He requires medication to treat all of his symptoms, as well as therapy.  Since my deductible is very high for mental health care, we will have to pay the first $3000.00 out of pocket.  I am grateful that my son is still alive, my husband is getting the best medical care that we have found for him, and I have a job that I love, but sometimes you have to give in and ask for help.  We have also been extremely blessed to have help from my mother and Sarah.  I don’t know how we would have made it without them!  I know that this is a tight budget time of year for everyone, and for many people anytime of the year would be impossible to make a donation.  Any donation you can make will be greatly appreciated. Please pray for my son and grandchildren’s health and I hope that my friends and family have a healthy New Year.
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 42 mos
  • Lori Haugen 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Karen Schaefer 
    • $50 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer

Lynn Sheriff-Mendez 
Organizer
Barstow, CA
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