A reason to live.
After a long battle with Substance Use Disorder and Depression, Chad decided to take his life. In a drug-induced psychosis he climbed up an olive tree in our parents backyard and hung himself, just shy of 2 months after our mother passed away. Thankfully, our step-dad and his dad were at the house and Chad was able to be recessitated mere minutes after he lost conscience, but the damage was already done. He now suffers from an anoxic brain injury and will be permenantly disabled as a result.
On Tuesday, March 28th, 2017, Chad was rushed to Harbor UCLA medical center where he spent the next 2 1/2 weeks in the ICU on life support, in and out of a coma. Once he was extubaed, I signed consent to have tracheostomy and gastrostomy tubes places to assist his breathing and eating. His stay at HUCLA ultimately lasted a month and he was then transferred to Memorial Hospital of Gardena Sub-Acute to continue care.
During his stay in Gardena we were all amazed as we watched Chad essentially come back to life. By the time he left that hospital a month later, he was walking and talking; participating in occupational, physical, and speech therapies. It was time for him to move somewhere none of us ever thought he'd go; Rehabilitation.
This is where everything started to go downhill despite the leaps and bounds Chad was making in regards to his recovery.
Because Chad was homeless at the time of the incident, he was on Medi-Cal and the options for acute rehabilitation for TBI patients are very limited and adding in Chad's history of mental illness, age, and SUD, his options were even more limited. The places where he really needed to go didnt accept him, the facility he was at could no longer provide the proper care (ie- the insurance wouldnt pay for him anymore) and he ended up in Garfield Medical Center.
We didnt know any of this at the time, but Chad going to Garfield was a huge mistake. We relied on the "expertise" of the social workers and hospital staff to properly place Chad and we were all so excited as a family that Chad was going to have some type of recovery from this terrible incident, that it never dawned on us Chad would need further inpatient care after acute-rehab.
As a result of him not being properly placed, that facility is unequipt to handle Chad's rehabilitation as they do not have a TBI program, they are just a physical rehab. The real travesty is that Medi-Cal doesnt pay for post-acute rehabilitation, which is what Chad REALLY needs- long-term neuro-rehabilitation combined with dual-diagnosis treatment for SUD and his other psyciatric issues. There are 3 facilities in Southern California that provide this type of inpatient care and all 3 of them do not have contracts with Chads insurance and cannot take him.
Chad's quality of life has always been my number one priority and I was presented with an opportunity for Chad to move to Arizona to live with the Jackson Family, and decided that that was the best route for Chad in the long term, as he will need care for the rest of his life.
To date, Chad's behavioral problems as a result of the TBI and compunded by his psych issues has landed him in the medical surgical ward at Garfield, heavily drugged to remain compliant and so the hospital can continue to recieve money for him. We HAVE to get Chad out of California and to Arizona ASAP so he can continue his recovery toward a meaningful life.
I have been coordinating efforts between Tammy in Arizona, myself in Texas, and various hospital staff in California since this happened. There is going to be a lapse in coverage as he transffers states and this money will help pay for any medical costs occured until his AHCCCS kicks in.
Tammy and Jay Jackson and thier family have known Chad since he was an infant and have willingly stepped up to help Chad recover from this. This will be so beneficial for Chad since they are like second parents for Chad; they are his FAMILY and they love him as such.
Chad deserves all the happiness the world has to offer and I truly belive that so much good can come from this terrible situation for him we just dont have the means to make it happen by ourselves.
So I'm continuing to make good on my promise to Chad, that his quality of life will continue to be my number one priority for him, and asking for your help.
If there was ever and investment you wanted to make, i can guarantee you that this is a worthwile one. We all tried to invest in Chad, he was just to sick. Every system imaginable that was created to help him has failed him simply because of money and the stigma surrounding Mental Health and SUD.
Chad is a bright and shining human being who is loved by everyone who knows him, regardless of his illnesses. He is a human being who deserves this second chance.
Let's get him to AZ and help him start his new life.
- Doug Lewis
- Kimbra Knight
- Letty Arviso
- Carolyn Jackson
- Nancy Raymond
Organizer and beneficiary
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