Bobby, Colleen, 14 year old Allison, and almost 2 year old Landon Thompson are dear to so many people. My 25 year friendship with Colleen began as fellow Spanish majors at Union University and team members on medical mission trips to Honduras. Colleen's sweet, positive spirit endears her to everyone who meets her and makes her a beloved teacher to her tiny students at St. Mary's Catholic School, where Allison is an active, thriving student. Bobby is a hard-working and thoughtful partner to Colleen, and together they are raising two wonderful kids
The life and future of Bobby and Colleen's family were altered in the blink of an eye on November 25, 2017. Bobby, 47 years old, suffered a massive brain bleed when an artery near his brain stem ruptured. The first days were critical, but thanks to medical efforts and God's intervention, Bobby stablized, though he spent two months in the hospital. From there, Bobby went to rehab first in Jackson, and then to the prestigious Ability Lab in Chicago.
Because of Bobby's age, rehab therapists felt he had an excellent chance for recovery, so the Thompson family had great hopes for his time there. However, a setback put Bobby in the hospital for over a week, which stalled and even reversed his progress. The family's insurance company (Cigna) would only pay for 60 days of in-patient rehab, and despite the setback, refused to grant him more time. Time will be up on March 15, when Bobby must return home.
Unfortunately, Bobby needs assistance 75 - 100% of the time and care 24 hours a day. Cigna will not pay for nursing care at home, and may only pay for 40 days of home health, which would consist of 1-2 visits a day of less than 2 hours. Because Bobby's wife Colleen is their sole source of income and therefore insurance coverage, she must keep working. The case manager at the Ability Lab has advised her to take time off work until they can figure out Bobby's care. While she does have up to 12 weeks Family Medical Leave, she will not be paid during that time, leaving them without an income. Yet, in order to keep their health insurance, she will have to continue paying for it.
Friends are in the process of trying to make the necessary remodels to their house to make room for a hospital bed and for Bobby's wheelchair to manuever through their small home. If private duty nursing is required, the out of pocket cost will be high. Throughout all of this, a family of four has gone from being a two-income family to relying on Colleen's salary as a pre-school teacher in a private school.
The following needs are high priority --
1. Enough days at The Ability Lab to prepare Bobby for the best possible recovery, as recommended by Bobby's healthcare team:
-- $3000 - $5000 a day, if not covered by Cigna.
2. A wheelchair-accessible van for transportation to medical appointments and to enable him to travel with his family:
-- used ($20,000 - 30,000)
-- new (anywhere from $30,000 - $60,000)
3. A private sitter/home duty nurse during the day so that Colleen could continue to provide financially for the family:
-- $20 an hour, on average
4. Assistance with essential bills that Colleen and Bobby must manage on a single income for the time being:
-- home mortgage
-- out-of-pocket medical expenses
The Thompson family is a valued part of Jackson, TN and quick to help meet the needs of others. It's our turn to help them. All of us together can help ease some of the financial burden Bobby and Colleen are under right now, until the day when Bobby recovers enough to return to work.
Here's what you can do --
* GIVE! It's easy and quick. No amount is too great or too small.
* SHARE! Please, take just a minute and share this page on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, by e-mail -- any or all of the above. The more people who see this, the more we can raise.
*UNITE! This is a special challenge to alumni of Union University. UU is a family, and I want to challenge my fellow family members to give to two of our own. Both Bobby and Colleen are proud Unionites. Join with me and help bless them.
- Jessica Perry
- Jessica Perry
Organizer and beneficiary
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