I'm creating this GoFundMe donation page because I am doing all that I can to help the 2 most important people in my life. My dear parents Samuel and Victoria Cuenca are both in the middle of a sudden health crisis. My father is a kind and gentle soul with a heart of gold. He's a soft spoken man with integrity and has always handled himself with class. He consistently finds the positive side to every situation and also has a big sense of humor. He is also an avid jazz guitarist and has inspired me to pursue a career as a jazz drummer. My mother Victoria is a quiet, sensitive, intuitive and nuturing woman. Their lives together always revolved around the family and sharing their mutual love of nature and music with my brother and I. We have shared so many precious family memories of fishing and camping all over the Sierra Mountains. They have been married for 59 years. They are the best of friends and they have set a beautiful example of how to live a full and passionate life.
My parents have always led active, independent and very health conscious lives. One of their biggest hobbies was going for walks several times a week. Recently their normal lives were turned upside down when there were some major changes in their health condition.
My 81 year old mother was diagnosed with Parkinsons 8 years ago and had been managing it well with meds. In late September her Parkinsons suddenly advanced and she began a series of fainting spells and had a few falls. This is caused by Hypertensive Syncopy - part of Parkinsons which makes it difficult for the body to regulate blood pressure. After each episode she was taken in an ambulance and admitted to the hospital, stabilized and released after a few days. Every time my mother was in the hospital my 85 year old father Samuel was by her side and even sleeping in chair next to her bed. He refused leave her side and to go home to rest. All of this stress took a toll on his body and on October 9th he collapsed in the hospital halls at 2am and was bleeding internally. He was rushed downstairs to ER immediately and shortly after needed major surgery.
At this point we had both of my parents on different floors of the same hospital. We spent several days going back and forth between floors visiting each parent in their fragile state. After 2 1/2 weeks my mother was still very frail but was released from the hospital to a home health care facility. After 2 more weeks my father was finally released from the hospital and was able to join my mother in the same room of the same health care facility. They were together again and they began their journey to recovery. The picture at the top of the page is the moment they were reunited in the health care facility.
What's happening now?
My parents have gone from being completely independent, active and energetic forces of life to being weak, frail and dependent in the span of a few months. Its terrifying and so painful to witness your loved ones transformation right before your eyes. They now both need the assistance of a wheelchair or a walker to walk and cannot be left alone unsupervised.
My parents are scheduled to be released from the health care facility soon. Their stay at this rehab facility was covered by Medicare but after they are released Medicare will only cover a few days a week of physical and occupational therapy and a nurse visit once a week for a limited amount of time.
In their current state they can no longer be left alone and they need constant monitoring. I currently reside in New York City and my brother is a 6 hour drive away in northern California. We are currently taking turns (usually 2 weeks at a time) from our established careers and lives to travel to San Jose to take care of our dear parents. Nothing is more important to us than making this sacrifice to make sure they have the care that they need but it is becoming overwhelming financially and we do need to help.
My brother and I will need to hire home health care agency out of pocket. These agencies charge from $25-$30/hr and that's just for one person. Rates will be higher for both of my parents. We can get an agency lined up and started but with our financial situation we cannot sustain these services for very long. Both of my parents urgently need help with their basic daily needs. Unfortunately it will be a huge burden financially for our family so I'm reaching out to everyone that reads this.
If you are able to make a donation to our fund the money will help pay for home health care agencies to assist my parents with dressing, grooming, bathing, meal preparation, laundry, light housekeeping and companionship. These caregivers will help my parents Samuel and Victoria to stay safe, live with dignity and adjust to the new chapter in their lives. Funds will also go to medical equipment and supplies, medication, food for caregivers to prepare meals and transportation support.
Sincere thanks for taking the time to read my story and please donate if you can. Any amount would be very helpful and truly appreciated. Also please share this story with your friends and family. A tender moment together. Better days several years ago.
Sam and Vickie enjoying life a few years ago.
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