Gary's Journey to Surgery

No question - this has been one of the most “interesting" years we’ve collectively experienced. As if this year wasn’t challenging enough, imagine 2 career paths  snuffed out (directly due to covid-19) and trying to live with chronic back pain. Gary Bergmann needs our help with medical bills and a surgery on October 21, 2020 that is slated to provide him instant relief and a way back to his “new normal”.

 
Gary’s Story:

You know Gary's meditation is fishing. The one time he went fishing this year, he was bed-ridden for 2 days afterward from the pain and inflammation.

In April 2020, just as Gary was looking for a safe way to return to restaurant work and simultaneously exploring online tutoring opportunities, he noticed that his occasional low back pain had turned more severe and consistent. Every twist, bend and movement became excruciatingly painful. No such thing as peaceful sleep.

Three doctors and an MRI later, it was discovered that his L5S1 disc was non-existent. There is no injury. The root cause of the pain is NOT arthritis. This is not the “normal wear-and-tear” disc degeneration from the aging process (yep, true, we’re summer chickens now):  the disc was completely missing. His own immune system wrongfully attacked and destroyed an intervertebral disc. Those were some hungry macrophages!

After 5 months of denials, refusals to pay for pain management and underpaying services after authorizing them, Gary’s health insurance has finally authorized an outpatient surgery called “The Intracept Procedure," but only AFTER requiring 6 weeks of physical therapy at $150 per session!

There’s no way to repair the disc or inject some kind of synthetic gel to fluff it up (but as avid sci-fi fans, we’re hoping that life imitates art soon). The procedure will deaden the nerve within the disc, so that the bone-on-bone pain experience is eliminated, giving the tissue and muscles surrounding the spinal column a chance to heal and recover. It’s a simple, effective workaround, and instant relief is expected with minimal recovery time.

If you are able to help him out, even just a bit, he would be so grateful. We’re asking for $8500 to help pay for his:
·        Surgery
·        Out-of-pocket medical bills
·        Health insurance premiums.

He hasn’t been able to work in 6 months because of this debilitating issue, and he also hasn’t asked for help. I can't wait to see him smile and fish again!

After recovery from the October 21 surgery, we are hoping to host a virtual “Thank you” concert/variety show with singers, songwriters, puppet karaoke, videos, community, and shenanigans. I’m also working on a “Karaoke for Gary” idea too! We thank you for any support you are able to provide and look forward to personally connecting with everyone as soon as as it's safe!

Donations

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  • Donny Davol 
    • $75 
    • 5 d
  • christine winston 
    • $50 
    • 8 d
  • Andrew Garlinski 
    • $50 
    • 9 d
  • James Mullis 
    • $100 
    • 9 d
  • James Mullis Unity Church Gulf Shores  
    • $250 
    • 9 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Amy Shilllinglaw 
Organizer
Austin, TX
gary bergmann 
Beneficiary
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