Mom's Medical Bill For Saving Life

On July 2, 2017 my mother suffered a life-threatening medical emergency. She lives in Indonesia but was in the US to visit for about a month. Right around the 2nd week of her visit, she started feeling very faint and had no energy. When it was apparent that this was more than general tiredness, my brother took her to urgent care. The doctors found that her hemoglobin levels were at 4 (normal levels are between 12-14) and they immediately advised to admit her to an Emergency Room for blood transfusion. It turned out that she had been bleeding internally for about a week. Had we waited any longer, she could have died.

After blood transfusion, the doctors in the ER conducted endoscopy and colonoscopy to find the cause of the bleeding. When they couldn’t find anything, they proceeded to do a procedure of taking pictures of her entire digestive system by having her swallow a tiny capsule camera. This is when they found out that she has a congenital condition called Meckel’s diverticulum. It affects 2% of the population and similar to an appendix, most people do not exhibit any symptoms except when steroids and/or NSAIDs are introduced.

You see right before my mother left on her trip, she went to a specialist in Indonesia for her knee. She had been having pain on her left knee and she didn’t want it to bother her while she is visiting her family in the US. The specialist gave her a steroid injection and also gave her two prescriptions: Methylprednisolone and Etoricoxib. The first is a steroid and the second is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. If you search around for it, that second drug is not approved in the US. This or the combination of the two caused a perforation in her Meckel’s diverticulum and the reason for the internal bleeding. After the doctors discovered this, my mother underwent a bowel resection surgery and thankfully she fully recovered after a little over a week in the hospital.

The problem now is because she is a visitor, she does not have health insurance that can cover any part of this medical cost. Additionally, due to the lack of regulation in Indonesia, we are unable to hold responsible the doctor who prescribed those medications to her, financially or legally. Currently the total medical cost that’s been billed to us is over $200,000 and we are working to get it reduced. However we aren’t sure how much of this can be reduced because she was in the ICU for multiple days and underwent multiple procedures.

As you can imagine, we have no way to cover a fraction of this...that's why we decided to come here, looking for help. Anything you can give is very much appreciated and all donations will go into covering the bill. If we can get it reduced, any remaining donations will be passed on to others who need help with their medical bills. Thank you and God bless!
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Ryann Weller 
Novato, CA

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