On November 4th we took Yaya (aka Mom, aka Laura) to the ER to get one of her legs checked out after a fall. She has two bad knees and after the fall her right leg went numb. She had also hit her head so they ordered a head CT which unfortunately revealed multiple brain tumors in both sides of her brain. What followed was a series of several doctors and several more scans and tests at two different hospitals. Just a few days later Yaya had brain surgery at UAB to remove the largest tumor, most favorable for surgery, that would also be used for a biopsy. The diagnosis was unfortunately as predicted, multi-focal grade 4 glioblastoma. After much careful thought together as a family, Yaya elected to not subject herself to additional chemo and radiation for the tumors still present or future tumors that will generate. Glioblastoma is not a curable form of cancer and has an almost 100% recurrance rate.
YAYA's NEEDS & CARE
After a long two weeks spanning two hospitals and a stay in rehab, we were finally able to bring Yaya home under hospice care. At present, hospice provides a bed and equipment, a nurse visit twice a week, and limited patient care for baths three times a week, which is all covered by Medicare. The immediate family started a rotation to cover her around the clock care but it quickly caught up with us and nobody was sleeping or able to provide the type of care Yaya needs, especially at night. So to manage her care we contracted a home healthcare service to cover a shift from 10pm-6am each night. The first three nights we have done this, Ted Sr. got full nights of sleep, his first real sleep in two weeks, and it was clear that this was the solution we need. Unfortunately this service is not covered by Medicare or health insurance.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Many friends and extended family have asked what they can do and how they can help, so this is your chance. Aside from mounting hospital bills from the surgery, the financial burden of this extra home healthcare will be very difficult for the family to cover over time. We estimate we will need at least two months of this type of care and it’s very possible we may have to add more shifts to the caretaker rotation. Our goal is to maintain Yaya’s quality of life and keep her at home where she feels warm and safe and comfortable as long as we possibly can. She still has the same irrepressible spirit and sense of humor, and we hope to keep her in that healthy state of mind as long as we can.
COST & FUNDING
The 10pm-6am caretaker costs $1148 per week. We estimate Yaya will likely need this care for at least two months at a total cost for the night caretaker of $9184. So we are setting our goal at that amount. If our goal is exceeded, we will use remaining funds to cover additional medical costs or other additional caretaker rotations we may need moving forward. If we have even $.01 leftover at the end of all of this, at Yaya's request it will be donated to the UAB Music Therapy Department (a therapy not covered by insurance in Alabama).
We don’t know exactly what the future holds, but it will be a loving tribute to Yaya for you all to be involved in her comfort and care in this way. Every little bit helps, but if you are unable to contribute that’s okay! Please use this GoFundMe page as a way to stay updated on Yaya and the family. We will do our best to update it often.
Thank you so very much for reading and considering helping Yaya. For those who know and love her, just know how much she loves you back.
Ted Jr. (son), Sunny (daughter), Ted Sr. (husband/dad)
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- Zollie Holt
- Betsy and Joe Schmitt
- Bill Hamilton
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