Dad recently injured himself on a job in North Dakota that caused him terrible back pain. Thinking it wasn't serious, he tried to seek relief with chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy. When nothing was working and his health was slowly (over several months) deteriorating, he finally took himself into the clinic to run tests and find out what had actually happened to his back. The doctors that treated him couldn't find anything on his X-rays, found nothing conclusive about his blood samples, and sent him (walking!) home with pain killers, general antibiotics, and muscle relaxers. Over the next several weeks (in and out of the clinic), dad wasn't able to work more than two hours at a time, found it increasingly hard to sleep, talk, and even breathe, and was in constant debilitating pain - all while his doctors were adamant there was nothing wrong with him.
With all of his family worried back here in Washington, Rory (Roland's son) drove East with a friend to help dad finish his jobs and bring him home. When they got there, it was obvious dad wouldn't be going anywhere any time soon and needed immediate medical attention. He was finally able to convince the doctors at the clinic to give him an MRI - and thats when they saw the extent of his injuries. While on the table, dad said he felt like he was being electrocuted and his legs were involuntarily jumping into the air. He had lost feeling in his feet. If he had come in even a day later, the damage would have been permanent.
Dad had a crushed disc, another fractured disc, a pinched spinal cord, and a nasty blood infection they would later diagnose as Staph.
From that moment on, dad has been in a whirlwind of ambulance rides, an intensive back surgery that resulted in permanent screws in his spine, blood transfusions, pain medications, antibiotics, and fittings for a back and neck brace.
For the next eight weeks, he will need antibiotics administered every eight hours. For the time being, he is getting rounds of pain medications in intervals of six and four hours. He will need to wear his braces for the next six months whenever he's moving around. He will have limited mobility, most likely permanent, his bone density has been affected by the staph infection permanently, and will need to have regular blood cultures to ensure the infection hasn't resurfaced.
Our goal is to get dad back to WA where he can rest and be taken care of (something we all know will be hard for him to allow!). Working as a self-employed General Contractor, Roland doesn't have the health insurance to cover these monstrous hospital bills -whatever they may amount to in the end- and won't be able to work to support himself for the next several months. Those of you who know him, know that not keeping busy is the worst part for him. He's the hardest working man. And if he could do this all on his own, he would. But he can't.
Please consider helping this loving son, brother, friend, father, and grandfather get his life back. Every dollar counts.
Thank you so much,
- Lisa Doig
- Kenya Kelsey
- Carla Cain
- Sylvia &Joe Hofmann
- Isaac Norton
Organizer and beneficiary
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