Hi, I am Kerry Thompson, Arther’s wife. I think Charles Dickens accurately described our past year of 2020, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
The year began as a season of light as Arther and I were in full wedding planning mode! Then came Covid-19 and we decided that our dream wedding plans would need to be scaled down to ensure the safety of our loved ones.
On July 24th, seven days before our micro-wedding, I was laid off from my job, because there are no jobs that needed a project planner. Should there come a need, I will step back in again. The upside has been that I have been able to help Lenore, (Art’s daughter, and my “bonus” daughter) with her schoolwork when she had to begin 100% online studies due to Covid-19.
The “best of times” of 2020 was definitely on July 31st, the day Arther and I said, “I do!” in the presence of our immediate family.
The “worst of times” began nine days later. On August 8th, Arther went to the doctor to have his mouth looked at. He thought perhaps he was suffering from an abscess. After the doctor looked at it, he did not think it was an abscess and said Arther needed to make an appointment with the dentist. On August 14th the dentist in our hometown of Dickinson, ND, stated that she did not know what it was. She made an appointment for Arther to see a specialist in Bismarck. When we went to the specialist, on August 20th, he took a biopsy. We learned a new word when the biopsy came back, indicating that he had a benign vascular “hemangioma.” (We were so thankful that it was not cancerous!) The specialist referred us to a surgeon in Fargo, since Arther was going to need to go under anesthesia.
The surgery was completed on October 13th; the surgeon stated that he needed to remove more bone than anticipated, due to the fact that the tumor was so large. All of Arther’s teeth were also removed. Arther was off of work for 3 weeks due to the recovery time, but thankfully was able to go back to work on the 9th of November.
The season of darkness seemed to carry on when, on November 23rd, Lenore, Arther, and I were all diagnosed with Covid-19. I was taken to the ER in Dickinson on the 27th because I was having difficulty breathing. Because the hospital in Dickinson did not have any beds available, they took me by ambulance to Bismarck to be admitted. Thankfully I was able to get excellent treatment, and after being in the hospital for 5 days, I was released to go home. This bout with Covid-19 caused Arther to miss 9 days of work.
It’s been a crazy 5 months since our “best” day of 2020, and Arther is improving, but eating without teeth and part of a jaw has been very challenging. Because part of his jaw was removed, each of the 2 prosthodontists Arther has seen, have stated that regular dentures will not work for him. Dentures would move around in his mouth, cause mouth sores, which would result in infections. The doctors both stated that implants are really his only option.
The doctors that we have seen in North Dakota have quoted him approximately $54,000 to have the posts put in and then making the prosthetics. Our insurance will not cover any of the costs for this procedure. We are looking into other states and other countries to have the procedures done, since $54,000 is an unachievable number for us.
As a recap – we are thankful for the “best of times” – our wedding, but need help to see that the “worst of times” don’t last forever for Arther. We need a season of hope to come. He needs to have the ability to not only speak clearly, but also to be able to chew on good, nutritious, and fiber-packed food. If you would like to help us with this need, we will be forever grateful!
Whatever amount you can give to help us with the costs of getting the bone grafts and dental implants, would be very much appreciated!
- Lucas Winterberg
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Organizer and beneficiary
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