A Little Backstory
Hi everyone, my name is Rachel Conroy and I am a twenty-five year old graduate student. I moved to Colorado to become an AmeriCorps volunteer right after I graduated from my undergraduate program at Northern Illinois University. As an AmeriCorps member, I had the amazing opportunity of being placed in Chaffee County, Colorado.
While working for the Boys and Girls Club as the education coordinator (tutor) assisting students in the elementary school, my position as an Americorps member confirmed my dream of being an elementary school teacher. Unfortunately, it also left me with very little savings to my name.
Three months after successfully completing my year as an AmeriCorps volunteer, I had a bad skiing accident. On November 29th I went skiing down a blue route that I was familiar with but with the conditions not being ideal, there was mostly ice instead of snow (which I was not prepared for). I picked up more speed than intended and was heading for the trees.
To avoid a tree collision, I turned hard to the right (opposite direction of the trees), I then hit more ice and flew up into the air; as I came down my left knee hit the ground. My skis stayed on, my left leg was stuck straight out to my side as I somersaulted down the mountain.
After a misdiagnosis, I found a doctor who specializes in knee injuries, almost three weeks after the incident. He discovered I had torn my ACL, MCL, and dislocated my kneecap. My first surgery required three procedures. I attended physical therapy and was diligent about my exercises and recovery.
After six weeks, I had not shown any progress and the pain in my left leg only worsened. I then had a second surgery to remove the excess scar tissue that built up, as well as to correct issues with a bolt from the previous surgery that broke loose.
What is Needed
I have been informed by multiple experts that with three serious injuries, it will take at least a year for my leg to recover. My doctor has stated that there may also be the possibility of a third surgery to remove more scar tissue. My insurance company has denied claims to cover their portion of the first and second surgery.
The hospital bills have already been split between multiple people and credit cards to avoid going to collections. The amount that has been put on the cards so far is upwards of $27,000. I had to put graduate school on hold, and the recovery of my knee has become a full time job. I was cleared to work two weeks ago and can only manage working on my feet for three or four hours at a time. That being said, I would appreciate any and all donations.
I thank you for taking the time to read my story and contributing however possible. Be well and have a blessed day.
- Amanda Rogalske
- Diane Fitzpatrick
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