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Help Stroke Survivor Live at Home

$6,875 of $16,000 goal

Raised by 23 people in 1 month
On August 31, 2007, my husband Chuck and I woke up and life had changed, overnight. He had suffered a massive stroke. I called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital, where he nearly died, twice; first, from the original event, which deprived his brain of oxygen; second, the next week when the clot burst loose and flooded his brain with blood.

 

He was in the hospital and rehab for seven weeks. When he came home, he was unable to walk, bathe, use the toilet or dress without my assistance for six months. We continued therapy for the next year—including a trip to the University of Michigan Aphasia Program for intensive speech therapy—an arduous and exhausting process for both of us.

 

While his leg became strong enough for him to walk with a cane, and he learned to bathe, use the toilet and dress himself, he still has extreme limitations. He has no language; and by that I mean he cannot talk, read or write, and has trouble comprehending the spoken word. His right arm is permanently paralyzed. This man, a former professor of education for a major university, was transformed into a silent homebody who spends his days watching television.

 

I am his only caretaker and have no resources designated for that purpose and no sustained, consistent help from family. I am unable to work fulltime because 1) there are no jobs that would pay me enough to make it worth hiring help for Chuck and 2) I’m almost 60 and am getting passed over for younger candidates for the fulltime jobs that would pay me enough.

 

Chuck receives Social Security Disability Income, not enough to make expenses. I work part-time as a writer and a dog trainer, but these are not reliable sources of income. I have written two books, one of which I self-published on Amazon (Stroke Happens: A Caretaker’s Memoir) but which lacks national distribution or advertising and so did not bring in much money. The other was from a regional press, and I only received 7% of what little profit was made by the publishing company.

 

Neither of us have trust funds or inheritances. We have therefore had to draw from Chuck’s once healthy retirement fund—which, before the stroke, would have taken care of both of us for the rest of our lives after retirement—which has fallen to $10,000. When that is gone, which will happen in less than a year, we won’t be able to make our monthly expenses.

 

At that point, I am afraid I will have to face a difficult decision; that is, sell our house, place Chuck in a nursing home, and move in with someone while I try to find some kind of income.

 

Keep in mind that for more than ten years I have taken care of this man, who otherwise would have been a burden on the taxpayer as a Medicaid recipient. I have gotten no compensation and in fact have lost ten years of income (I was a college English instruction) and investment into my own Social Security fund.

 

Because we don’t have a savings account or emergency fund, I have had to use our only credit card to pay for such things as a new heating-and-air-conditioning system; two pulled teeth and bone implants (I have not actually replaced the teeth because I can’t afford it); and the trip to Michigan Aphasia Clinic. We are very close to the limit of $26,000 and I refuse to get another credit card. I am asking for help in paying off this debt.

 

Some people might my request impertinent. I would argue that Chuck and I have had extremely bad luck and that, through no fault of our own, found ourselves in a situation the horror of which is almost impossible to describe. I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I have done my best to make Chuck happy and comfortable and to do whatever it takes to keep him at home. I would like to continue to do so, but the burden of debt is crushing and I fear it will destroy us. Having one huge expense disappear would be such a relief, and so I am hoping some compassionate people will help us out and contribute to our fund. Thank you and God bless.
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Chuck and I just got back from the orthopedic doctor, who said the arm is healing nicely and cleared Chuck for therapy, to be started week after next.

Thanks again for the support. I am overwhelmed with gratitude! We not only got lots of donations via GoFundMe, but people also sent checks in the mail. I feel so fortunate.
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I just wanted to express my everlasting gratitude to everyone who has helped. Not only by contributing through GoFundMe, but also by sending checks to us via post and by bringing meals. I feel so fortunate to have such a caring and supportive community. Love to all, Laura
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I have lowered my goal to $16,000, since that is all I have left to pay on the credit card! Not only did I get donations via GoFundMe, I also received checks in the mail. Thanks to all who supported us!
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We found out yesterday that Chuck does not have to have surgery on his arm! He continues to improve and the fund has enabled me to decrease our debt. Many thanks to everyone who helped this happen.
Waiting for the doctor.
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$6,875 of $16,000 goal

Raised by 23 people in 1 month
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$50
Anonymous
24 days ago
JF
$100
Joanne Fitzgerald
27 days ago
CS
$100
Cathy Toth Sturkie
28 days ago
CG
$250
Christopher Goodrich
29 days ago
$200
Anonymous
29 days ago
$500
Anonymous
29 days ago
$100
Anonymous
29 days ago
$50
Anonymous
29 days ago
JW
$100
Jim Witte
29 days ago
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