Medical and Living Funds

My friend was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when he was ten years old. I met him when he was 21. At the time his Crohn’s wasn’t much of an issue. He was healthy and working, until right around the time he got engaged. He got a rectal fistula from the Crohn’s and it caused him to lose a lot of weight. He completely lost his appetite for food, and he had lost his job from all of the absences he had to take because of illness. He went to doctors and had surgeries for the fistula and nothing helped. This wasn't going to stop him from getting married, and so he did in March 2012.
Shortly thereafter, his wife became pregnant. During this time, she was the only money maker in the house. She wasn't making much, but every little bit counts. They went to so many doctors to see if they can help my friend and they all said his large intestines are rotten (they described it saying it looks like someone took a razor and went over it 50 times). He had no other choice but to remove his large intestines, forcing him to do his personal bathroom habits in a bag on the side of his stomach.
He planned to do the surgery in September of 2012 but he was too malnourished. He weighed in 108 pounds and hit a pants size of 27/28. They depended on credit cards for the bills and medical supplies that he needed. They pushed off the surgery to October but he wasn’t well and instead he was hospitalized for two weeks. His wife continued to work until 4:30 every day and would run to catch the train (since they didn't have a car) to Lenox Hill just to visit him and be by his side. She would take the same commute back home at around 8pm. She did this every day when she was at her later stages of pregnancy, and home alone. He had the two surgeries in November on the same day; one to take out his large intestines and the other to fix the fistula. The recovery was absolutely horrible. His wife physically wasn't able to do much while being pregnant.
He stayed in the hospital for recovery for an extra two weeks, so she was on her own for a total of a month travelling everyday back and forth. When he came home it was still his wife's responsibility to supply them with food. There was only so much she could supply with one small salary. Recovery took more than 4 months. She gave birth in the beginning of December to a baby girl. He was not able to hold his new baby right away because she was too heavy for him. He would only be able to do so while sitting. There was a tremendous amount of duty on her shoulders. Supplying the needs of the new born baby and her ill husband. She was home for 6 weeks then went back to a full day of work leaving and paying for a babysitter from 8:30am till 5:30pm every day. In May 2013, he had another 2 surgeries; to remove the ostomy bag and the tube in the fistula. Recovery took a full week in the hospital and then five months at home. He still has Crohn’s but thankfully he has been better so far. The major problems at the moment are that; the fistula hasn’t gone away, he hasn’t been able to work, and she is on her own supporting her husband and a one and a half year old baby girl.
I ask him how it feels to have the fistula and he describes it as 5 huge major paper-cuts all at once, stinging every five minutes. He is in a tremendous amount of pain almost all day long. He is going through a lot. He cannot sit or stand for short to long periods of time. He goes to the bathroom about eight times a day. He changes his gauze pads 10 times every day. He cannot lift anything over 20 pounds or he can catch a hernia. Doctors don’t know what to do to help heal the fistula and some have even said he can be this way forever.
After all of this, they are left with the never-ending growing pile of hospital bills. Along with rent, utility bills and food expenses for all three of them. They need help, any help they can get. His wife works very hard between being the provider and being a great wife and mother. She tries to do her best but it just isn't enough. If you can find it in your heart to help and pass along the message to friends and family, they would appreciate it in ways words cannot express.
Thank you so much for visiting this page and reading this story.
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ChaimEli Esther Sabo 
Brooklyn, NY
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