Melinda was a singer and dancer, before she had her son Hector on November 18, 2003. She gave it up and went to work a regular job answering phones at a local Bronx hospital. In 2006 while at work a freak accident occurred, where she slipped and fell on the wet floor. She doesn't remember much about the incident itself, just that she woke up on the floor next to her co-workers trying to get her to the break room. After the incident, for about a month of trying to get help for this injury, it was found she broke her tailbone, her spine shifted, and she had severe nerve damage. She tried to continue taking care of her child, but soon it got to a point where the nerve damage won, she wound up completely paralyzed on her right side, both leg and arm, with very minimal range of motion. She began experiencing seizures and TIAs and was unable to care for herself or her young child. She was put in a rehabilitation facility in 2008. She went through extensive rehab for 4 years. In that time frame she could not regain use of her leg, so was released in 2012 with a motorized wheelchair and the skills to care for herself, and her son with her newfound limitations. Although she was released with very little guidance, she didn’t accept not being able to walk, so by the summer of 2012 she began forcing herself to walk again and regained full mobility by mid-2013.
Her child and her moved into a project apartment in NYC, because she was on disability and workman’s compensation. That apartment seemed like a dream come true until it started to deteriorate. The ceilings would fall in the bathroom and kitchen, there was black mold in the bathroom, and had a severe issue with roaches, mice, and rats in her apartment; all of which the landlord said would be handled, but never did. Due to the revolting circumstances of the living situation, her son's asthma began to deteriorate. He wound up becoming a regular in the hospital, visiting on average twice a month (sometimes much more), always being admitted. This includes multiple ICU admissions. Melinda was always in the hospital with him, never leaving her son’s side. He had a surgical procedure to remove a piece to help open his airways, still the asthma persisted. His left lung was not growing with him, was scarred and not working properly. He was getting virtually no air into that lung. During all this, they lost their dog, Teddy. Her son Hector found his dog dead in his bedroom and attempted suicide. He was admitted into a psychiatric facility to help in coping with the loss and the suicidal behavior. When he got home, it was still back and forth trips to the hospitals, plus medications for both his anxiety and asthma. Their lives were basically living in local hospitals.
By February 2015 she was told that her son wouldn't last long under these conditions. Without the means to get a job or move, she didn't know what to do, and stumbled across a Youtube video, where she learned of a prospective opportunity. She joined right away and got to work. She climbed to the top 2% of her company and held that position for a long time.
Early May 2017, during yet another bi-weekly hospitalization, she spoke with the doctors, which said Hector would not survive another attack. His right lung could not handle another decline, the only thing that could save him was a lung transplant. With this inconceivable news they were released, and Melinda did the unthinkable; her child was in a dangerous position. Within a week Melinda made the decision to immediately move across the country, with just her and her son. She chose Nevada, because it was rated as one of the best places to live with asthma. She didn't plan much or really think about it, other than Hector’s life was on the line. She just did what she had to do. She left everything behind only packing 2 suitcases, hers filled mostly with his medical equipment and medications.
The move to the near Vegas area, was the right move. They were so happy, and Hector had not had one hospitalization or asthma attack since the move. His overall mood shifted as well. Melinda worked her direct sales business and even hustled doing Uber, even with her crazy back spasms and nerve issues, which were triggered with prolonged sitting, standing or walking. This woman doesn’t quit.
As if this family has not gone through enough, in November 2017, Melinda had some weird symptoms, which warranted a visit to the doctor. One of Melinda’s worst fears came true, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy since, which has really taken a toll on her overall health, mood, energy and how she is able function. Her next scan is on March 21st, so please pray for her at the very least. We are hopeful that by then she will have kicked cancer’s butt.
On top of this, her disability was recently denied early January. She has been unable to see a doctor for her initial disability since the move, because workman’s compensation will not fund an MRI to prove that she is still unfit to work with her nerve and back issues. These steps are needed to reclaim disability.
This is where we come in. If you have read this far, THANK YOU! As you can see this woman has fought, with many odds against her, and many times alone, with very little to no help. AND she does it with sooo much grace and a smile on her face, literally each and every day! Now she needs our help, as much as she wanted to deny it. Her and her son are being faced with an eviction at the first of next month, because of all these unforeseen circumstances. Also, copays for office visits and medications are mounting too. Not to mention, the unexpected expense of having to fund an MRI. We have already contacted several organizations and she has either been denied, because disability is showing she should be working (although she physically cannot), or she has left message after message.
Any amount will help, and any way that you can share her story with others will help as well; even if it is to just inspire someone not to quit and reach out for help in a time of need. In advance, we thank you for being in her corner for support and prayers. It truly takes a village. God Bless!
- Lourdes Guerrero
- Crystal Rodriguez
- Monserrate Asencio
- Premier D
Fundraising team: Team Melinda (3)
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