Raven's Drowning in Medical Debt!

It’s hard to accept help.
If you know my mother, Raven Priest, you’d be shocked she’d agree to allow anyone to start a GoFundMe campaign for her.  She’s creative, resourceful, compulsively ambitious, independent and tough-as-nails!  She’s been met with various trials all her life, but has always come out on top with “bootstraps” in hand.  But as many of us know, Life has a harsh way of rolling in some severe storms to remind us WE CAN’T DO IT ALL ON OUR OWN… sometimes we need others to help us stay afloat. “When it rains, it pours” and I don’t know anyone that could weather what my mom has experienced on their own: MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS... BECOMING A WIDOW... LYME DISEASE... and IDENTITY THEFT... one right after the other!!  Raven is also a very private person, so please, friends…. Take the time to read this story, honor her in the courage she’s taking to share her crisis and accept help from the public. PLEASE consider taking the time to make a donation and/or share her campaign link! If she’s ever needed support, it’s NOW. Here’s why:

Nature Lover
Raven is a true nature lover and woods dweller.  From childhood on, she has always loved spending her free time camping, hiking, fishing, caving and rescuing / rehabilitating wild & domestic animals. She loves painting whatever nature inspires within her. For 15 years, my mom traveled all over the United States as an award-winning professional wildlife artist. She helped struggling artists by tutoring them in technique and donating art supplies.  She also donated some of her art to various wildlife charities. Always overflowing with creative energy, she also made fine jewelry to supplement her income.

28280840_15206257590_r.jpeg{{{ Mom working at one of her art shows... and petting a panther?! LOL }}}

Severe Storms
When she was diagnosed with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, her symptoms made it too difficult to travel & show her art, so she worked as a CAD Designer for a monument company as long as her condition would allow in order to make ends meet. Since then, she has been surviving on a meager Social Security Disability income.  It was devastating enough to witness her body succumbing to disease & letting her dream career go, but when my dad… her husband of 25 years, passed away shortly after, the entire scene of her once very prosperous & active life changed.

28280840_15206259270_r.jpeg{{{ This is a painting Raven did when she first started experiencing the symptoms of her MS, before she was diagnosed... she said she knew something was after her.  It's entitled "See Ya Later, Alligator!" }}}

28280840_15206265630_r.jpeg{{{ This is another painting, post-MS-diagnosis, depicting her process of accepting herself with the disease. It's entitled "Facing Her Own Reflection" }}} 


28280840_15206274400_r.jpeg
Terrain Change...
In 2013, the beautiful woods sanctuary where she and Dad had built their home together, came under attack by aphids. She had to watch 100+ trees topple one-by-one until many of her favorite vistas were gone and she was faced with an entirely new landscape. I felt it was important to mention this event because, to me, it seemed a harsh metaphor for all that my mom was experiencing in her body and way of life.

Here we go again... 
A couple years ago, not surprisingly, Mom had risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the last chapter of her life. She’d made a few friends with which she could enjoy nature again. She was adjusting to life as a widow, finding ways to be active despite her disease, channeling her artistic energy into various projects, contributing to a few exotic animal forums online & even working up the courage to try painting again (her ultimate goal).  She had just turned her attention from her own difficulties to help a close friend move across country, when Mom's next LIFE STORM hit and she found herself in yet another crisis. 

The hospital that tried to bury my mom…
Raven was taken to the hospital barely conscious with what she had thought was the flu and severe back pain. Mom warned the medical staff she could not tolerate opiates, but they were careless and overdosed her on 3 at once for her pain.

Yes. You read that correctly.
She said she couldn’t have opiates.
They gave her 3 at once.

She fell into a coma and was revived with Narcan [THANKFULLY!!] Those 10 days in the hospital were such hell for her, it’s actually fortunate she can only remember bits and pieces of it all.  However, I was there and remember clearly how much pain she was in, how incoherent she was (hallucinating from the drugs she warned them not to give her), how carelessly she was treated by her doctors, and how I was nearly thrown out for asking questions and demanding better care. Despite a notation in her chart to never be given opiates again, one doctor ignored it and OVERDOSED HER A SECOND TIME. I’m completely serious. They did it to her again!  At some point, possibly during resuscitation, the medical personnel dislocated her brachial plexus (a system of nerves in the shoulder that controls all the nerves in the hand), which rendered her dominant (painting) hand useless. She was subjected to a plethora of tests and procedures every day without pain management, and left the hospital WITHOUT A DIAGNOSIS for her pain... and now facing the real possibility she would never be able to paint again. 

The continued search for diagnosis and pain relief…
A year after discharge, and many more hospital and doctor visits, tests & procedures…….. $$$$$......, she was finally diagnosed with a mega case of LYME DISEASE. It’s worth mentioning that the only reason she was diagnosed was because she had done her own research online and requested a test for Lyme.  On top of her MS, she now has LYME… a disease that is now in its second & incurable stage… a disease that had it been discovered upon her entry into the hospital, would have been cured with a $2.40 dose of Doxycycline and would not be plaguing her with permanent nerve damage that she describes as “glass in the thighs” when she walks. …which she can only do now for short periods of time.

No medical or legal recourse…
For obvious reasons & without much delay, she pursued legal representation in a medical malpractice suit against the hospital. Unfortunately, her lawyer has suddenly dropped her case because the hospital could provide no proof of the incident… in other words, the incriminating records have been illegally deleted and “witness accounts aren’t enough”. Her case was dropped right as the two-year deadline to attempt another lawsuit was expiring.  Suddenly, a huge bill from that hospital appeared in her mailbox that had been "on hold" because of the lawsuit, totaling her medical bills to the mid-5 figures!   ...She’s still in debilitating pain.

The medical bills….
Omg… the medical bills.

Insult to injury…
Just in case she didn’t have enough stress & financial debt in her life, just recently, her credit card was hacked! Though her identity was eventually re-established, all the medical bills that had gone on the credit card have been insurmountably compounded with high rates of interest. For now, her credit card company is refusing to lower the rates back down despite her requests. As a result, her once-pristine credit score is plummeting, and by no fault of her own.

So much at once... 
I know this is probably hard to read. It’s hard to believe someone could really endure such a flood of misfortune. I assure you, none of this is exaggeration. My mom has endured one crisis after another and it’s burying her. She is drowning in debt, despair and excruciating pain… facing the possibility of never being able to paint again.  SHE NEEDS TO WITNESS MERCY.  She feels she’s been screwed over by her body, the doctors, the hospital, her lawyer, her bank & some stranger with her credit card number. I believe my mother NEEDS TO EXPERIENCE SOME COMPASSION, RELIEF... and HOPE!!!

No donation is too small…
When I asked her what kind of help she needs the most, she explained how the FINANCIAL BURDEN is the most overwhelming part of it all. With medical bills piled to the sky, any contribution you would be willing to make, no matter the amount, would be helpful and greatly appreciated.  I know she would also appreciate it if you would share this link with your friends & family, on social media or privately. 

Pray! Pray! Pray!
I ask that you also keep Raven in prayer.  I'm genuinely excited to see what God has in mind for her in all of this! I firmly believe the storms of Life come to evolve us in character, equip us for our purposes and even help us remember that WE’RE HUMANS and WE'RE DESIGNED TO NEED EACH OTHER. :)  <3 <3 <3 

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING THE TIME TO READ RAVEN'S STORY! LET'S GET TOGETHER AND HELP HER OUT!!

28280840_15207119520_r.jpeg
March 11, 2018:
Dear Mommers, 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! <3 Thank you for always being my inspiration. You have my Love, Respect, Honor and support!!!
Always,
- Your Kitten

Donations

 See top
  • Ruth Priest 
    • $100 
    • 36 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $5 
    • 36 mos
  • Rick & Tami Case 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
  • Dolly Leibov 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Adrea Bailey 
Organizer
Greencastle, IN
Susan Priest 
Beneficiary
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