Help Pay Shannon's Medical Bills

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On Monday, 10/8/2018, while biking to work I experienced full brake failure going down the very steep Seaview Avenue hill towards Roeder on the waterfront.  I went through a stop sign and collided with a truck, ricocheted off its front fender, then landed into a ditch by the railroad tracks. The accident was considered my fault, but due to the mechanical failure, the officer did not give me a ticket.   I rode that bike to work for four months prior to that day, down the same hill without any problems.  I had no brake issues riding up to that point in my commute.  The bike is totaled.  It was my only form of transportation. 

Blood was all over my head.  EMS crews were called to the scene.  They transported me by ambulance to Saint Josephs Hospital in Bellingham, WA.  A CT scan revealed I have a hematoma concussion, which is like a blood blister on top of the brain. 

Many of the first responders and my nurse told me "Your helmet saved your life!"  Other injuries include seven stitches on my forehead and chin, two front teeth chipped, a bump on the head and road rash.  I am SO HAPPY and THANKFUL to be alive!  The Bellingham EMS/ER staff were very kind and gentle.  I had excellent overnight care...but now the bills are forming their attack!

(photo: blood and mud on my bike light, 10/9/18)

The accident occurred about 100 feet away from the front door of the furniture plywood mill where I've worked for almost two years.   I am a plugger and patcher, grading a repairing wood. The mill is full of bright lights, loud noises, heavy lifting and at times, quick movement, EVERYTHING I am supposed to avoid while I recover.  The doctor is recommending I stay home for two weeks.  

Currently, I make $13.50/hr at the mill.  Net take home for 40 hours is apx $958.  My rent is $750/mth.  After talking with my insurance, Regence, I understand that at the very minimum I should expect a $1000 ER deductible.  I do not have an estimate from a dentist yet about filing or sanding the sharp chips down on my teeth. I do have dental insurance, thank goodness.

I'm asking for only $2000 to pay for the known expenses at this time and the two weeks lost wages.  I'll update as I learn more.

(Photo: close up of chin and front teeth chips, 10/8/18)

I live by myself and survive on a very tight budget.  I want to pay my medical bills, get my teeth fixed and also keep my little 450 sq ft apartment.  $2000 is life-changing money for me!  Living on such a tight budget I have often feared that an unexpected expense, such as an accident like this, could force me onto the streets.  I survive THAT close to being homeless! I work hard, and volunteer within the art, radio and writing community.  I am a published poet but earn only a few hundred dollars in royalties a year.

(Photo: day three of the recovery, swelling and black eyes. Happy to be alive, trying to smile as big as my sore jaw will allow. 

The medical bills are processing now.  The first one will show up by the end of the month.  I don't want to lose my apartment, and I don't need any more debt.  Please help me keep my head above the medical bills, rent, and other utilities. 

I'll post a video and updates soon.
Thank you

(Photo: Shannon, 2017, volunteering at a local radio station) 


Shannon Laws
Bellingham, WA

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