As many of you know, Mr. Garchow was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia in 2013. Mrs. Garchow was his 24/7 caregiver. She put all of her energy into caring for him. Other than an annual trip to The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota as a follow up to a pancreas transplant, she neglected her health. She spent most of that time sleep deprived, as Mr. Garchow fought falling asleep. He was painfully aware of his mental decline, and each evening he feared that his mind would be gone when he awoke. Mr. Garchow died on April 1, 2019.
Mrs. Garchow has suffered extended bouts of depression since his death. She’s grieved and rarely left her house. Her dog Hope has been her constant companion. The pandemic has added to her isolation, making it difficult for visitors to come.
Mrs. Garchow has suffered a great deal over the past six months. Her balance has been bad for many years, but she has fallen several times this year. On June 1, she fell off her porch and onto the cement. She fell hard on her lumbar spine. … She had carpal tunnel surgery in June …. She fell and broke a rib. … Her kidneys are functioning at 25%, and she is on the kidney transplant list. … She fell and hurt her wrist, ending up in a full arm cast for two weeks. … And more.
On September 30 she fell again and was taken to emergency. On October 5 she had surgery at St. Joseph Hospital that removed a cyst and a badly-pinched nerve from her spine and reconstructed her lower spine to add cushion between the discs. Her insurance covered physical and occupational therapy for one month, but that has ended. A visiting nurse is still coming to check her vital signs and inspect the incision.
Mrs. Garchow faces many limitations. Her balance remains poor, and she needs a walker at all times. She can’t bend, twist, or lift more than a few pounds. She can’t drive. And she can barely care for Hope. She needs outside help to clean her house, do laundry, and prepare meals.
Mr. and Mrs. Garchow burned through nearly all of their modest savings during Mr. Garchow’s illness. Mrs. Garchow has a very simple lifestyle. But the medical expenses not covered by insurance, renovations to her bathroom, and other unexpected expenses are beyond her means. While she has been blessed to have her nephew, Bill McGee, and a core group of friends help, she needs an aide to come to the house at least weekly to help her.
Mrs. Garchow received two medical bills totaling $550 earlier this week. Last night she received a bill for $3,253. So I suggested this GoFundMe campaign. It is difficult for her to go public with her struggles and request financial help. She needs help to cover the unplanned bills that have arisen over the past six months and for life expenses.
Please prayerfully consider helping Mrs. Garchow. All of the money raised will go to her to help pay for her medical costs and living expenses.
May God bless you all.
Bill Peper, friend of Mrs. Garchow
- Mike Mathis
- Diane Spain
- Patricia Trueman
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