The good news is that the surgeries are slowly working. But it has become clear that Keir still requires around 5-6 more re-burning surgeries as well as some more invasive skin grafts. Based on his physician's strong recommendation, Keir has decided to apply for Long Term Disability (LTD) to see him through the remaining procedures. In order to be approved for LTD, Keir needs to be entirely off work for four months following his October 25, 2018, surgery. Financially this will represent a loss of over $17,000 of income for Keir. While Keir will have some remaining EI benefits during this period and has also raised some money through the sale of a car, they are still looking at a significant monetary shortfall. That is why I have increased the gofundme goal by $10,000 to help Keir and Deb through this time.
Deciding to continue with the surgeries and apply for LTD as per his physician's recommendation was not an easy decision for Keir. I asked Keir to describe this recent decision:
"I almost gave up on the surgeries this summer. I told the surgeon that I needed a break after my 5th surgery (now scheduled for Oct. 25, 2018). I told myself that I just needed a bit more time to recover before I did any more surgeries. After some honest reflection, I realized that if I took a 'break,' I would not be continuing the surgeries.
It has definitely been a difficult year. I’ve struggled to juggle work and recovery. I’ve had surgeries when my skin was still tender from the previous surgery. I’ve found myself having more and more trouble doing my job. Mostly, it is just very hard to face surgery after surgery.
However, I am seeing gradual improvements. I know that for my long-term health, I need to continue with the surgeries as recommended by my physician.
I have been extremely thankful for the support of so many people over this past year. I am humbled that so many are sacrificing to help us during these difficult days. I have no words other than 'thank you'! Know that your comments, gifts and prayers have helped to sustain me and my family."
I have set up this gofundme page to raise some money to help Keir and his family through this time. Please give as you have decided in your heart to give.
Background (Original Post)
As a child of seven, Keir was burned in a tent fire and received 3rd degree burns to 40% of his body (he has scarring on over 70% due to extensive skin grafting). Over the last couple of years, he has been experiencing increasing pain from tearing of his scar tissue and graft sites.
In October 2017 he received the first of a series of surgeries designed to help release the tension in his skin. Each of these surgeries entails re-burning much of the scar tissue and graft sites on his body. As the skin heals from this re-burning, it should become more supple. It will take approximately 4-6 of these surgeries to begin to see some results. He is scheduled for surgery in January, March, and May. More surgeries will likely follow.
Following each surgery, Keir is in significant pain and unable to work for at least two to four weeks.
Here's the rub: Keir will use up all of his sick days and vacation time during January's surgery, and will not be paid during any of his subsequent time off. It is anticipated that he would lose around $15,000 in netwages in the first half of 2018.
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