Jessica, age 51, is a single mother of 3 children. The goal of this Go Fund Me account is to provide the means for Jessica to receive the care and therapy required to recover fully, as well as any home modifications that might be necessary. While Jessica currently has health insurance coverage and time- limited disability income, there will be significant out of pocket expenses in the months ahead.
Jessica suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhagic stroke due to a ruptured aneurysm sometime between the evening of Friday, July 28 2017 and 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 28, 2017. A friend discovered Jessica needed medical attention when she stopped by the house Sunday morning. Jessica was immediately taken to Oregon Health Science University hospital. She was admitted into the Neurological Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and treated for her aneurysm rupture, stroke, and related complications. After 2 ½ weeks in Neuro ICU she was transferred to a standard room in the Neurology wing for further observation and evaluation. After one week OHSU doctors determined that she was medically stable enough to be released from the hospital, but still required 24-hr skilled nursing care with daily physical, occupational and cognitive therapy. Some of the areas the therapies are focused on improving are mobility, motor-skills, short-term memory, executive functioning (problem solving, planning (present and future), etc.), self-awareness, safety awareness, insight, speech and attention span.
Initially, the request for skilled nursing care for Jessica was denied by the insurance company, despite the recommendations of the OSHU medical team. However, through persistence and advocacy by OHSU and family/friends Aetna finally approved for one week of 24-hr skilled nursing care with physical and cognitive therapy for Jessica. Family and friends helped transfer Jessica to Marquis Vermont Hills skilled nursing facility where she had been undergoing the therapy she needs. In an effort to give her some semblance of normality and independence she now has her cell phone so she can contact people and stay up-to-date with friends and family on social media.
At this point Jessica’s medical team (consisting of doctors, nurses, and the social worker) at Marquis Vermont Hills has recommend a minimum of 2 additional weeks of 24-hr skilled nursing care to continue with physical, occupational, and cognitive therapy, but have said Jessica will need continuing therapy for up to a year.
We were hoping that Aetna would continue to approve the cost of the care she is receiving; however, week recently received word that despite medical recommendations Aetna has denied further authorization for further treatment at the facility. We are still attempting to get approval, but have been told to expect a continued denial.
We have been told by Aetna that In-home care is not a covered benefit on Jessica's insurance plan and we have yet to determine the out-of-pocket cost for her in home therapies.
Jessica & her family must decide to continue paying out-of-pocket for continued care & therapy at Marquis ($420/day) or a similar amount for an in-home care giver with an additional expense of at least 3-5 hours of in-home/out-patient therapy.
While Jessica still receives disability income through her work-based insurance, most of that income goes to cover pre-existing bills so she does not have enough money to pay for the care she requires. So although we are very hesitant to request help, we have chosen to ask for support from her family and friends.
Please understand that while we’d prefer to provide tangible facts about expected costs, we are dealing with many unknowns. We have not yet begun to receive medical bills; much of the time we don’t know until 24-48 hours in advance if Jessica’s insurance will cover additional treatments. Timing of when she will be able to go home, finding outpatient care & amount of outpatient therapy remain unknown. We do not know how long Jessica will need treatment, and we do not know (and won’t know for at least 1 year) what the long-term outlook and impact of her brain injury will be.
While this event has been life altering, Jessica is with us and can walk & talk, smile and crack jokes! These are HUGE bright spots. She definitely defied the odds (are any of us surprised?) but we can't forget the significant amount of therapy that Jessica will need to hopefully allow her to be able to pursue a somewhat normal life, whatever that new normal will be defined as.
It is in the spirit of the deep love that we all have for Jessica that we humbly ask for your contribution so that Jessica can continue to improve, go home and get back to living her life.
- Tracy Wolf Paquin
- Jackie Titus
- Linda Jessell
- David Keys