Mary needs a safe haven

Mary needs a safe haven

Last week, Mary Evans lost almost everything: her home, her cherished pets, and the love of her life. Getting ready for the big blizzard, she and Tom made a pot of chicken soup for supper. He sat down to read a book, stood up… and dropped dead.

That’s not all Mary has lost. Because he was with her all the time, only Tom knew how far her ‘forgetfulness’ had advanced into full-blown dementia; even their children had been shielded. Despite his aggressive cancer treatments for the past year, Tom had been her full--time caregiver. Now the shock of his death seems to have made her dementia worse, for with Tom lying dead beside her, Mary couldn’t think of what to do. She sat with him till the next day, until the phone rang, and there was finally somebody she could tell.

 The two of them wanted desperately to stay together in their 100-year-old farmhouse, but with illness and age they have been unable to pay all the bills or even to do the important repairs it needs. Mary can’t stay there on her own. Even during the long day before the phone rang, she forgot to eat or drink. By the time the police arrived, she was confused and seriously dehydrated.

Mary and Tom’s children, Morgan and Cambria, face a quadruple crisis. Neither of them lives in the same town as Mary. They are grieving for their dad; their mom is in far worse condition than either of them knew; the house needs to be dealt with and the bills are mounting. Mary has urgently needed new clothes and toiletries. There are unpaid taxes and utilities, and more. Even the simplest chremation for Tom has accrued a staggering $5,000 bill, due to the blizzard and transport difficulties. 

But the main priority now is to get Mary a safe place to be, the  medical attention and  assessment she needs, and the link to social services and a care plan. Getting answers takes time and a huge amount of work. She needs interim accommodation and someone to be with her while all this happens.

We are one of Mary’s sisters, one of her nieces, and a great-nephew. Most of our family lives hundreds, even thousands of miles away and we want more than anything to help Morgan and Cambria get their mom back into a safe home. We want them not to be overwhelmed by the unexpected responsibilities surrounding T om’s death. And we want them to know that it will be possible to do it.

We are already contributing, but we can barely make a dent in what's needed. This campaign will help with everything from medical bills and Tom’s funeral home expenses to ensuring that Mary has a safe place to stay and the care she needs until an assisted living placement can be put in place.

Tom Vink-Lainas and Mary Evans worked hard, gave to others, and overcame real obstacles. They were bright, creative, and funny. Now Mary is in the worst possible situation. This is why we’re asking for help.

Please give whatever you can, and help us to help Mary through this emergency Whatever you can contribute, we thank you! We will post updates on this page so you can see what is being achieved.

We are so grateful!

Nancy, Katy, Danny and the rest of the Evans family
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Nan Evans Bush 
Kingston, NY
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