Dear friends, family, and benevolent strangers,
As many of you know, I suffered a very dire bicycle accident on June 2, resulting in a three-day stay in the ICU with severe facial trauma, damaged teeth, and three fractured vertebrae. Thankfully, I'm healing very well and with minimal discomfort, and with the exception of my oral damage, will make a full recovery. The dental injuries, however, cannot mend themselves. I will require not only oral surgery, but extensive dentistry and a stint in braces. Presently, my upper front teeth are temporarily splinted, but they are unstable and poorly located, interfering with chewing. Correcting everything will take several months, if not more than a year.
In addition to the plans for the process of my oral reconstruction, I continue to undergo frequent followups to monitor the progress of my back, having x-rays taken regularly to ensure that the vertebrae are re-fusing, and my spine isn't endangered.
I'm exceeding grateful to have health insurance as a Cal student, but the full extent of my dental repair is beyond the purview of the student health plan, and I have no choice but to have the work done by any means necessary, or the discomfort and damage will only worsen.
While my back heals, I'm confined to a thoracolumbosacral orthosis (TLSO), which limits spinal mobility and prevents the fractured bones from dislodging. My work as a caretaker is on hold until stability is confirmed, so I'm without income during convalescence, and struggling to negotiate living expenses, endless co-pays for the myriad specialists involved in my care, and the costs of the needed dental work.
Being injured and vulnerable is incredibly frightening, and harder still to face with limited resources. Entreating the help and support of those who care about me is humbling and daunting, knowing how much life requires of each of you. I offer you all my sincerest gratitude for being at my side as I heal, and hope you know how invaluable your help is to my recovery.
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