Home Mortgage

I am a high school Social Studies teacher. Perhaps I have taught your children. I have touched the lives of students for many years. In the classroom, I’ve shared my knowledge and love of the world around us and inspired hundreds. Outside of the classroom, I’ve always been one to give. Last year, when an AmeriCorps volunteer needed a place to live, I opened my doors to him. I am the one who steps forward to help others. I had the space, and he needed a home. That’s who I am.

After 12 years in the classroom, I found myself in an unfortunate position. After years of struggle through debilitating pain, I needed back surgery. Just a month into the school year, on October 9th of 2013, I took a medical level. On October 25th, I faced my first back surgery. I hoped for a smooth recovery, but that did not happen. By February 1st, when I was scheduled to return to work, but my body was not ready. I was still dealing with complications and pain. I could not even walk without assistance. And, because I did not have long term disability, my last paycheck came on January 15, 2014.

After working hard in physical and pool therapy for months, I saw no change. I went to a well-known neurosurgeon for another opinion. He was confident that with taking out the hardware from the first surgery and then opening up the root canals (at that point they were very closed off), that I would indeed recover function and mobility. He took time and went slowly; it was a 5 hour surgery! I woke up from the surgery actually feeling very good. I was even discharged the next morning!

There have been so many on-going complications from that surgery! I have been in and out of the hospital for pain management and body function issues. In Mid-May, I broke my tailbone and another small bone in my back. I was in the hospital for several days, then transferred to Sister Kenny/Courage Center for rehab on my back. It was a pretty tense time there, but felt I learned a lot and all that I learned was very good. Currently I have a home nurse come into my home three times weekly and Physically Therapy comes in one time weekly. I am working on healing, strength and endurance.

I resigned my teaching position on April 1st. That was a tough decision for me, but felt I had to do for myself and the district. I was then able to liquidate my 403B, and cleaned up my bills, including my mortgage.

I still am unable to work, as I haven’t got the release from the doctors to return to the work that I love yet. I have some ideas in the meantime, like babysitting, tutoring or maybe online work. I applied for SSDI in Jan and got a denial letter July 5th. I have 60 days to appeal it; this time I will have an attorney! I am also still able to apply for unemployment, once I am released by the doctors to work.

For now, my finances are on hold, waiting for my body to recover.

My two children have managed to pay up with the electric (but not the gas, water or trash bills), the cable bill and the car insurance. I am not an extravagant spender. I have no credit card bills and no car payment bills. I do have medical bills that I pay $50 a month on. My student loans are in deferment.

My bottom line is I don’t want to lose my house. I have lived here for nine years. I love the community and it’s people. I have worked hard over the nine years to update our home! But I don’t have granite counter tops, or new kitchen cabinets, or stainless steel appliances. The carpeting does need to replaced, but that will wait until I have money.

Until SSDI kicks in (if it ever does, and/or unemployment), I have no way to pay any of my bills, including the mortgage.

To get me and my family through these tough times, we do not need a fortune. I need $5,100 (3x 1700). A goal of $6,000 would help to resolve sites fee and my garbage bill.

Anything you can give will help. Small medium or large.

I will pay your support forward. When I regain my strength, I will go back to inspiring young learners in the classroom. I will continue to share with those around me who need lifting up, just like I did with that AmeriCorps volunteer. But, before I can give again, for once I must take care to heal myself.

Thank you so much!


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Patty Smith 
Fridley, MN
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