My name is Ifueko Ogbomo and I've had two emergency hospitalizations in the past two months: first, at the end of June for Covid and the resulting sickle cell crisis it caused (I literally called 911 just four hours after I moved into a new apartment in a new city and state and spent the next several days in the hospital fighting for my life); and second, a week ago, for dust-induced respiratory issues and chest/arm/back pains, all a direct result of a poorly-done vent cleaning that left my entire apartment dust-covered. (Unfortunately, maintenance did not clean up at all after they were done, and I'm allergic to dust, but what's most frustrating is the management at my apartment failed to call and inform me that the vent cleaning I had requested three weeks prior would actually be happening that day, so I was completely blind-sided when I left a spotless apartment to meet an appointment and returned to an unrecognizably dusty one. Having sickle cell anemia, I was physically unable to cope with all the unexpected cleaning I had to begin doing immediately; the physical stress caused pains in my arm/back, and all the dust inhaled caused me respiratory distress and chest pains which only escalated until I ended up in another crisis and in the ER). Basically, being a freelance creative writer with a chronic, pre-existing condition and no medical insurance, these two emergencies have caused me eight separate bills totaling almost $20,000 in medical expenses (including everything from the ambulance and hospital fees to labs, doctors' and infectious disease specialists' fees.) I'm presently still symptomatic, on prescription narcotic pain meds, and got my throbbing right arm in a wrist guard/sling, but since I am both patient and caregiver, and I live alone, my recovery is going at a glacial pace. Unfortunately, when it rains, it pours: not only have I been in physical and emotional distress since the unfortunate vent-cleaning incident, my last copywriting contract was suddenly terminated (an entire team of remote workers let go) and although I was promised a full salary for August, I have not yet received it, and my employer is non-responsive. This means painful arm/chest notwithstanding, I have to add job-hunting for new remote work to my already full plate. Ultimately, I am mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted at this point, and I need a lot of rest if I am to recover. Since I live alone in a new city (I used to live in California, but my family lives abroad) and, of course, bills won't wait for me to get better, I'll gratefully take all the help, support and prayers I can get in this difficult season.
All donations are going towards medical bills, and any extra, toward living expenses while I'm recovering and job-hunting. Thank you in advance to everyone who donates. I sincerely appreciate your generosity at this challenging time. God bless you!
P.S. Photos and social media posts from my hospitalizations as well as photos of multiple medical bills are posted on my website for anyone who'd like to see those. And more info about me is also available on the site. Thank you, again!
3-week Update Sep 29: My arm is not yet pain free and presently dealing with Hurricaine Ian has just added to my plate. But I am grateful the worst of the hurricaine is over and glad to be alive. The fundraising continues.
1-week update (Sep 13): My chest/breathing is better, though I am still in pain, particularly in the bones in my entire right arm, so I am still on medication and unable to do much. Thankful that I did eventually receive my August salary from my former employer. I know there's still a long way to goal on this fundraiser, i.e., all emergency medical bills paid, but I'm very grateful to the 7 donors who've brought me this far. God bless you!