Help fix Lazer's teeth

This is Lazer (pronounced "Lah-zer") smiling with me, Sarah, his school social worker.  Lazer is 23 years-old and is non-verbal, other than sometimes echoing the last word one might say to him. Lazer suffers from severe Autism Spectrum Disorder. He and some members of his family recently immigrated from Gjakova, Kosovo. When they lived in Kosovo, Lazer was unable to attend school because their education system is not set up like it is in the U.S. and the schools in Kosovo could not accommodate his special needs.

I met Lazer on September 23, 2016.  Our school psychologist, Peter, and I did a home visit to try and determine what type of school support program and IEP Lazer would need.  Based on clues about the lack of furniture in the house (his family had a total of three wobbly plastic lawn chairs, a plastic folding table, and they were all sleeping on eggshell foam pads for beds), we knew this family needed help.  The South Redford School staff members and various other community members have been super generous in donating basic household items (a washing machine, a dryer, a microwave, tables, chairs, couches, clothes, linens, food, and even toiletries).

Through my work with Lazer and his family over the past few months, I discovered that they came to the U.S. to try and improve their lives and access resources which their country, still-recovering from the civil war of the late 1990's, could not offer.   Lazer's mother speaks mostly Albanian but can understand and speak a little English.  She is unable to work outside of the home because Lazer cannot be left alone due to safety reasons. Lazer's 25 year-old sister takes the bus (the family also has no car) to work a minimum wage job to support her mother and two brothers here in Redford, Michigan.  Lazer's 16 year-old brother is a hard-working sophomore at our local Thurston High School.  Their sister also sends part of her paycheck back to their father in Kosovo, so he can save money for a plane ticket and immigration expenses related to coming to the U.S. 

However, most pressing right now is fixing Lazer's teeth, which are rotted from years of poor nutrition and hygiene. He is unable to do a lot of things for himself, including meal preparation, bathing, shaving, and
brushing his teeth. When his mother tries to brush his teeth, his gums bleed. He has been holding his jaw for almost two months now because he is in so much pain. He is also not eating much because it seems to hurt for him to chew food. And because he's not eating, he is
starting to lose weight that he can not afford to lose, as he is already very thin.
 
I have been helping Lazer's family navigate through the whole social services and health care system, because he has not seen a doctor in several years.  It has been frustrating to say the least.  After calling no fewer than 10 dental practices (including the local universities and hospitals) to find a provider who accepts Medicaid and does full sedation procedures, Lazer finally saw a dentist on January 2 and a primary care doctor on January 5!  

Though his Medicaid paid for these visits, he suffers from peridontal (gum) disease and his teeth are so decayed that he will need to have about 8 to 10 of them pulled. Medicaid will cover most of the hospital
costs, including anesthesia, but not the cost of the teeth extraction and gum repair.  Several people have already donated money for this family and for Lazer's teeth to be fixed, but we still need to raise slightly over $2600 to cover the cost of the dental surgery, which is scheduled for January 25, 2017. Thank you so much for any help you can give. His mother is very appreciative and says "thanks very much."

Donations

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  • Lori Schultz 
    • $25 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 44 mos
  • Bill Zolkowski 
    • $25 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer

Sarah Jacobsen 
Organizer
Redford, MI
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