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Help Elma Write Her Next Chapter

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This is the story about how a life altering medical event can affect your partner and family. Please read, donate, and take the PSA message at the end to heart.

Chapter One: Girl meets the boy of her dreams! Elma and "Pink" met and fell in love. Wasn't her fault, she couldn't help it. They date, get married, start working, and saving to build their dream. Like every marriage they have ups and downs but they get through it like the ROCK STARS they are!

Chapter Two: Along comes Ben and later Emmy. Ben was a week late and Emmy was born early. Two children to make the family home complete and fill it with laughter, pride, and joy. The years go by..

Chapter Three: This is the chapter when they planned to dream of retirement, maybe they'd travel, buy a home, play with grandkids someday? "Pink" left for work one day and when he came home from the hospital 13 months later he was never the same..

In 2018 "Pink's" life tragically changed one fateful evening on his way home. He suffered serious head trauma and life altering brain damage in a road rage incident that not only affected him but affected Elma and their children’s lives too.

Chapter Four: He initially recovered somewhat from his injuries through specialized treatment but continued to suffer from PTSD. Throughout this time, Elma learned to cope with their new reality. One day at a time.. The children, in their early 20's, moved out, they moved to a smaller-cheaper home, and life goes on. This wan't the plan but how it needed to be. It was best for them all. He had a caregiver during the day while Elma returned to work to find some normalcy in her life. He learned to go for walks alone with a helmet and special card, and she would go for walks to local craft fairs and markets.

That's where I met Elma, at the Menagerie. She would come and talk to the artists, always offering a smile and kind word. She came for the community. I don't think she's missed one event unless she was taking care of him. During our first conversation, she was a walking PSA for road rage. (Elma your words did not go unheard!)

Chapter Five: While out on a walk last year, a nearby car honked and "Pink" had a flashback. He fell, hitting his head and once again sustained another injury to his brain. This time though the situation is more serious. He has not recovered and was diagnosed with the early onset of dementia brought on by the injuries.

They're in a unique situation, not unique to themselves but unique because their insurance won't cover the care "Pink" needs and the state won't assist because they aren't destitute (and when I say destitute I mean not living in a tent or stolen vehicle with nothing to their name).

"Pink" is relatively healthy and is in need of neurological care or "Memory Care". He's no longer injured so not fit for rehab. The dementia left him combative and unable to sleep so he was hospitalized recently but developed atrophy and cannot walk. He now requires physical therapy but he's not physically ill so can't stay in the hospital. They want to send him home but he's a fall risk and Elma HAS to work.

Chapter Six: Elma has used the last of her retirement and savings to place him in a home where he is receiving the treatment he needs. This is VERY short term because the money is gone. Once he is home, with financial assistance, she can pay for in-home care during the day which is less costly but she can't do that until he can walk and sleep well. With this plan, she'll be able to work and care for him during the evening. This will continue until he is eligible for palliative or hospice care. Hospice is not end of life anymore but it will be a fight to get Kaiser to approve one or the other and she will need our help until that time.

Elma has not once asked anyone for money. I've never once seen her give in to self pity but if you know her this was not how HER story was supposed to go. Being angry at the people involved won't change anything, including "Pink". In one split second, one bad decision, two people changed the lives of many forever.

Her PSA message has always been to think about your actions, getting mad while driving isn't worth it because it doesn't really affect one person it affects everyone around them too. Six years later, we are still seeing our friend and her family deal with a regrettable decision other people made. The moral of this story is stay in your own lane and get home safe to your people.

Chapter Seven: Any one of us could face for any reason..partner leaves work, bad accident happens, a financial crisis ensues and you're not as prepared as you think because those tests, scans, surgeries, specialists, hospitals, and meds all add up in a week.

So what happens in the face of financial crisis when one partners life is forever changed through illness or injury and their ability to work is gone, leaving no way to contribute to the family income, incurring debt brought on by endless medical bills quickly depleting settlements, savings, and retirements? A million, even two is not enough. It's been six years..

If you’re lucky friends and strangers will help you and that’s what we’re hoping for here because any one of us could be walking in her shoes.

Elma's story isn't over. Please help write another chapter in her book..

Connstance
(On behalf of Elma Rico & family)





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Donations 

  • Mitchell Patterson
    • $50 
    • 14 d
  • Timothy Damroth
    • $150 
    • 16 d
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 18 d
  • Anonymous
    • $20 
    • 19 d
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 22 d
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Organizer and beneficiary

Connstance Garcia
Organizer
Alameda, CA
Elma Kastning
Beneficiary
Raised $160 from 4 donations

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