Christmas 2017: I fell ill with a severe cough and cold. Did not think much of it as everyone seemed to be sick and I struggled for nearly 4 weeks. Around the middle of January my body took a downhill turn: I couldn't walk more than 5 steps without keeling over, was in extreme pain, and could not breathe. On the morning of Saturday, January 20th I was so weak I couldn't put my shoes on and collapsed in the shower. By early afternoon my body went into shock.
I had a pulmonary embolism.
A massive blood clot along with what that doctors called an "unidentifiable number" of other clots were in my lungs as well as a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) that ran from my mid-calf to mid-thigh. On that Saturday the clot blocked all blood flow to my lungs, sent my oxygen levels in my body to catastrophic levels, and I was on the verge of a heart attack. I spent two days in the ICU until my body stabilized and remained hospitalized for a week. My doctor told me had I waited another night, I'd be dead. I was in the right place, at the right time with the right people to get the care I needed. I was in Somerville, MA less than a mile from a hospital. Had I been at home alone in Portland, ME: I would not be here. I'm so grateful.
Like many other Americans the cost of health insurance was too high to be able to afford. I was uninsured for this medical emergency that saved my life. In addition to a mountain of medical bills I couldn't live alone. I had to break my lease, leave my life in Portland, did not have the physical ability to get through a workday and as a result had to resign from my job, and move back home in order to be close to my primary care physician and get the help that I need.
This is what my medical journey looks like in numbers:
Ultrasound Imaging Svcs: $408.50
Hospital Discharge Day: $862.50
Critical Care First Hour: $413.25
Electrocardiogram Report: $18.75
Critical Care First Hour: $413.25
Extremity Study Unilateral: $54.00
Transthoracic 2D Echo: $119.25
CT Angiography Chest: $162.75
CT Scan, Drug Spec ID, EKG/ECG General, Emergency Room, Intensive care, IV Therapy, Laboratory General, Med/Surg Supply, Other Diag General, Other Imaging Svcs, Pharmacy, Pulmonary Function, Respiratory Svcs, Room Charges: $12,693.96
Total of $15,146.21*
My doctor believes that I have a genetic clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden (to be determined via future testing). I'm on blood thinners which will allow my body to break down the clots over a 6-12 month period. My heart also sustained damage and thankfully it is not permanent but that will also be a 8-12 month recovery.
The dust has settled and all in all I'm so thankful. I have a new set of glasses to look at the world and in my life. So many people showed up in a very desperate hour of need and I may not be here if it weren't for them. My life got pulled out from under my feet very suddenly but I'm learning really quickly that this terrifying moment has started a chain reaction of events that are actually changing my life for the better (more updates to come in the coming weeks).
THE ASK: will you help me get back up on my feet and give a donation today to help me cover the cost of these medical bills? I am utilizing my experience to in addition raise awareness around the STAGGERING lack of affordability and waste of resources in our healthcare system. This is a basic human right: every person deserves to get the care that we need to live happy, fulfilling lives.
Help me rally 150 people to donate $100 to cover my medical expenses as I restart the next chapter of my life.
11:00PM March 16, 2018: WE HIT GOAL! $15,676 raised in 24 hours. DANG!
STRETCH GOAL: the original fundraising goal included the costs associated directly with my hospital stay January 20th - January 25th, specifically the bills that resulted in medical debt. There are other medical expenses and associated costs as a result of my situation that were paid for generously by my family that I would love to reimburse them for now that we've reached the goal.
Here is what the breakdown looks like:
Urgent Care (before I was sent to ER): $300
Prescription (Xarelto) On Discharge: $350
Primary Care Physician appt's: $250
Cost of Moving: $350
Loss of employment: $2,500
Original goal: $15,676
Stretch amount: $3,750
Total stretch goal: $19,600*
Mom & Dad - for somehow always finding ways to show up and take care of me in moments of adversity.
Denise & Vinny Benevento
Joe Benevento & Nidhi Agarwal
Mary Jean & Mike Raimo
Steve & Liz Funk
Cambridge Health Alliance
Port Property Management
Kyle Bailey & Andrew McLean
Terry Hayes, Kaitlin LaCasse, Sean MacWilliam, Patty Bruce, Frannie Babb and Hayes For Maine
Mike & Lisa Rettenmeier
John & Karen Rettenmeier
Jane & Ron Cercena
Chaz & Lizzie Funk
Cliff Birtwell & Brittany Zenner
Luke & Ali Thomas
Josh Mamaclay & Phil Berman
Bonnie Bounds & Evan Miliano
Kyra Walker, Amy Russell, and the Maine New Leaders Council
*$500 was added to the GoFundMe total to cover the 2.9% credit card processing fee and platform fees.
*This is discounted amount off the total bill that the hospital offered. In order for this amount to be honored I must submit payment in 30 days.
*Additional funds added to the STRETCH GOAL to cover Go Fund Me related costs and credit card processing fees.
- Alena Marshall
- Erin Miller
- Alison Hoffnagle
- Delene Perley
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