Devastating Update: Double-Amputees, Olivia & Shawn losing insurance due to job loss, Urgent Medical Treatment Needed!
For those of you that know me, you know that it’s very hard for me to ask for help. My husband was laid off from his job last week. Cobra payments are $2500 monthly to retain insurance. My family is in urgent need of financial assistance for several crucial medical treatments.
I want to thank all who donated and shared previously. Olivia has her new wheelchair! I have a manual wheelchair too and I found a used power chair for myself for $400. I got four new teeth, I have four more that are needed to treat my bacterial infection. However, my shoulder (torn rotator cuff has worsened. I can’t use right arm at all and I’m in constant pain. I can’t manage much more. No medication is working. I have to have a procedure done immediately which is not covered by insurance. I’m unable to wheel wheelchair, drive, or move about without use of my arm.
The funds that we are looking to raise will go toward:
1. Cobra payments for insurance
2. rotator cuff surgery for Shawn
3, Cleft palate surgery for Olivia (Cost won’t be completely determined until after surgery
4. Dental surgery for Shawn (done in stages, $5000 per tooth, 4 teeth)
I worked for over 15 years as a medical social worker. Despite my experience, I have been unsuccessful in getting any approval from insurance and private groups for our needs. Despite my husband’s insurance coverage, the insurance denials and out-of-pocket expenses exceed $30,000/year. I am not asking for the total needed for all of our surgeries. That would be overwhelming. I’m hoping that what I’m requesting will be a great start.
Olivia and I were born with a very rare genetic syndrome. We were born with a cleft palate, and also requiring an amputation of both of our legs above the knees. Our financial situation has become more serious due to several major medical expenses.Olivia has outgrown her leg prostheses, which mean she is unable to wear them, and requires a wheelchair for all of her daily activities. Olivia is currently having new legs made by a terrific prosthetist at O’Connor Prosthetics company.
Many referred me to Shriner’s Hospital which have used throughout the years. The plastic surgeon in LA suggested that we go to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles due to the complexity of her needs. Prosthetics also stated that they could never provide the level of legs that Olivia has used throughout the years. They referred us to look elsewhere. Thanks for the advice!
Olivia needs a cleft palate surgery this spring to improve her speech. As a junior in high school, she is realizing that it’s difficult for people to understand her when she’s speaking and the careers that she is interested in, requiring speaking. The surgery will tighten the skin in the back of her throat which will improve her speech (and help with her confidence). If she is able to do the surgery this winter, then she has the added benefit of her school assisting her with speech therapy.
See video below to see Olivia without her prosthesis or wheelchair.
My health issues are extensive and while my daughter’s health is my priority, I can no longer put my own health on the back burner.
My torn rotator cuff can no longer wait. Pain is unbearable, even with pain medication. Approximately 9 years ago, I was no longer allowed to work. After being diagnosed with serious neurological issues, Valley Fever Syndrome, an unknown autoimmune disorder, undergoing 3 surgeries in the past 2 years and continual, serious bacterial infections in my leg and my face/gums, I have been bed ridden for the past 9 years and I am currently unable to walk at all due to my own significant health issues as an amputee. I never dreamed that I wouldn’t be able to work, leave the house independently or walk. The dental surgery that I need will be complicated and costly. Surgery is needed immediately to treat my bacterial and fungal infections in my gums and cheek that contribute to my overall health.
The reason that I am asking for financial help this year is that it is critical. We can no longer put off managing my medical treatment . We had unexpected medical expenses this year and are still attempting to repay medical bills from recent surgeries. We truly need some financial assistance. The amount I am requesting would help immensely. Thank you for your generosity and support. My family is incredibly grateful!
Shawn Krause Fernandes
- Heidi Butenschoen
- Steven Wilmert
- Amy Madigan
- Gary Atteberry