The following is a short version of what is going on... My "youthful and active" Dad, Curt Amburgey, had his first hip replacement 4.5 years ago and his 2nd one was 2.5 years ago. His 2nd one is the one that became infected. He couldn't get out of bed the morning of June 30th, 2013, because of pain in his hip area. It then got worse each day. He started getting a super high fever and started going delirious. That's when he was rushed to the ER and they discovered he had a terrible infection. The doctor's had no idea how he got the infection or if it was related to his hip at first. The infection was HUGE and had spread to his blood so it was nearly fatal. He was in the hospital for 3 or 4 weeks the first time getting the infection drained and getting antibiotics though an IV in his arm. Once he was released from the hospital he had to go daily to Enumclaw hospital to get antibiotics put in his IV for about a month. The doctor's then thought the infection was gone but just a couple weeks without any antibiotics and he was back in the hospital. They discovered the infection was in his bone. He was readmitted to St. Joseph's hospital in Tacoma and they had to remove his hip. Now he is without a hip for 6-8 weeks and getting the IV medicine and they will replace it again once the infection is 100% gone. This is the point we are at. The major problem is, he has had insurance for 41 years..... He retired last April from Frito Lay after 30 some years and was waiting to start his other job. Unfortunately, in that time is when this all happened and he had a lapse in health insurance. He returned home last week and is receiving the medicine through the IV in his arm still. In order to receive this medicine at home he has to pay for it up front and out of pocket. This costs $1,300.00 a week and he needs it to keep the infection away and essentially keep him alive. On top of these upfront costs, his other medical bills are in the hundreds of thousands. We are praying for a solution to that problem.
**********Below is a letter my Dad wrote to the financial department at the hospital. I wanted to share that because it is from his heart and in his own words. He is in great spirits through all of this and appreciates everyone's support and positive thoughts so much. Thank you kindly, from all of us. God bless.
Letter from my dad......
To whom it may concern;
I'm writing this to explain my personal case. I need to share my situation, in which I hope to make you understand. I have been working full time for the last 41 years. I served in the Air Force and then worked for Frito Lay for 31 years. I had insurance throughout all my years in the military and at Frito Lay. For the most part, I have been blessed with good health, except for two hip replacements. When I was eligible for retirement from Frito Lay, I decided that the time was right. Jumping in and out of a truck all day had been tough on me and I needed something less physical on my hips. Not ready or capable to fully kick my feet up, I had plans to start another job.
I had connections at a large local well known company that assured I would be hired. I submitted approximately 75 applications and had multiple interviews but the job offer never came through. In the mean time I applied for any and all positions I could qualify for at other companies. Eventually, I was offered a substitute position at the Sumner School District as a custodian. This job didn't provide benefits for the three months I was working (April, May, June 2013). I offered to work any position over the summer and did. In this time I was hired full time as a custodian. This job was to start on September 3rd, 2013. This job made me eligible for medical benefits October 1st, 2013.
Unfortunately, I suffered a severe and nearly fatal infection to my hip in July that required a hospital stay of over two weeks and IV antibiotics for an additional 3-4 weeks. After this treatment we thought the infection was gone and I returned to work for 3 days, only to have the infection return. I was rushed to the emergency room and was readmitted to the hospital. This time around I was there for nearly a month. My prosthetic hip was removed, and the infection site was treated with constant antibiotics. I am now receiving home infusions through my IV and shots daily until the infection is gone. I will then have an operation to place the new prosthetic hip.
My present income is only my retirement from Frito Lay. My mortgage payment itself is much more than this income, and I had a small savings to bridge the gap until I had income from starting the new job. I just need you to understand that after being so responsible for so many years with having insurance, income, and maintaining excellent credit, I am now overwhelmed with medical bills in which I have no means to pay. I am willing to make reasonable payments for the rest of my life but when this is all said and done I will be facing medical expenses much higher than $300,000.00. I am asking for any assistance with grants or any type of funding available to assist with this financial burden. My concern is that because I have retirement pension and some income, I will not be eligible for a reasonable amount of assistance.
I feel I have made good decisions throughout my life, for the most part, but because of a brief lapse of good judgment over insurance I will now pay a huge penalty. This has been overwhelming and absolutely devastating financially, emotionally, and physically. I have been praying and will continue to pray for healing, for grace, and for God's hand in this situation I find myself in. I do want you to know that I feel blessed to have been in your care, and appreciate the healing and medical attention that I received from your hospital. I would not be alive today if it were not for this care. Thank you for reading this letter. Your consideration and any compassion that can be shown to my situation are greatly appreciated.
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