Alyssa and Jason Need Your Help
We are asking for donations to help ease the financial burden this tragedy has put on Alyssa and Jason. Jason doesn't have health insurance, and in addition to costs they will incur while Jason recovers in the hospital out of state, neither of them are able to work in the coming weeks, intensifying the urgency of their need.
This tragic, senseless act of domestic violence could not have been carried out against two more compassionate people. Alyssa and Jason are the first to lend a helping hand whenever someone needs it, and now they are the ones in need of a helping hand. No amount is too small. Please donate if you can, and share. Let's help bring some light to their family this holiday season.
Using this avenue to get help puts us in a vulnerable, uncomfortable position. Asking for help, especially when it comes to money hasn't been something we do as we both are very independent. However, the RI and Maine systems and programs that have been set up to help people like Jason have failed us.
I have been fighting for Jason to receive these state benefits for over a year now without success. As a social worker this is extremely discouraging. I smiled as I told Jason when he woke up from sedation that we would be okay and not worry... there are so many programs and systems set up to help people like you... we will be fine. I was wrong, every. single. day. has been a battle. Phone calls, emails, mail, lost paperwork, the back and forth is relentless! The process has been confusing, aggravating and down right maddening!
Jason has worked full time since he was a teenager, he pays taxes and pays into SS, but has been denied these benefits that he rightfully needs and deserves. Can you imagine how upsetting and angering that is for Jason?! Someone who was at the wrong place at the wrong time... someone who was protecting his loved one, he is my hero and he has been called a hero BUT he isn't getting the help a hero deserves. He continues to suffer after his selfless act. It's crazy, all the news articles sensationalized his heroism but now that time has passed none of that matters. This trauma didn't end for us after the shooting, we sure wish it did, but it has continued due to the broken systems.
Although Jason isn't quite ready to go back to work as he continues the healing process he is still an active member of society as a full time student with a 4.0 GPA, amazing I know! It hasn't been easy for him, but his efforts and dedication show in his grades!
This gofundme has gotten him through this past year and we couldn't be more thankful for all of the family, friends and strangers who were generous enough to contribute. You made it possible for Jason to have food, a place to sleep, heat to stay warm... the basic needs and more! So we again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for that help! However, we are again asking for you to open your hearts and consider donating or sharing our story because we desperately still need your help due to these system failures. We are still hopeful that he will get help, we are just unsure how much and when. Until then the bills continue to pile up and the bank account dwindles as the phones ring off the hook.
My mother has graciously assisted us with taking a short vacation next week and we have put aside money that was gifted to us for birthdays/holidays to make this trip possible. Our mental health needs this trip but it's hard not to feel guilty or selfish about doing this for us due to our financial situation. However, we truly need this time together, a break from reality and a break from these persistent stressors because it has been one hell of a year for us both. We need to continue to work us, our well- being and mental health. I look forward to us getting to the place and time in our lives where we are thriving rather than surviving, until then I WILL keep fighting and appealing these systems and programs, even if it means involving the Attorney Generals Office in hopes of their help!
I thank you for taking the time to read this, and I thank those who donate and share. You truly are helping us get out of this seemingly endless hole that the shooting and 6 figure medical bills has buried us in! Also, please know that we pay it forward when we can - we have used our own gofundme money to donate to other causes, we have rescued a puppy, we also fostered a puppy, made clothing and household item donations, among many other ways of giving back! Again - Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Peace & Love, Alyssa
The recovery road isn't over, he still has limitations. Jason lost 25lbs in addition to his strengthen and endurance. Thankfully Jason and his advisor were able to switch all but one his classes to online courses. This will be beneficial to Jason while he builds his strength and endurance back up.
We haven't been home in 2 months!
Another transition, more changes and additions to the to-do list BUT we are headed home right before Jason's birthday!
We again, thank everyone for the continued support through each transition, bump in the road and for celebrating the successes of healing. You all are awesome, keep up the positive vibes for this next transition.
This am we woke up to this site exploding, soaking a super gauze sponge an hour. This discharge had various colors/textures of fluid coming out including some blood. After consulting via phone with the nurses and PA on the surgical team at CMMC they decided we should come in.
Before leaving home we put fresh dressings on for the commute to the hospital and we noticed the area where the retention sutures and stitches once were (removed this Tuesday) had also started draining a large amount of a similar fluid.
Once arriving, the PA who has been working with Jason from the beginning sent us to the ER to have a CT scan and lab work (blood/urine) done to rule out an abscess/infection. We also noticed a hole (smaller than the size of a pea) had formed at the top of the abdomen area where stitches once were.
We are glad the team here is proactive and listened to our concerns and his symptoms. Unfortunately it seems whenever there is a good day with good reports and evidence of progress it is followed by days of steps back, bumps in the road or hiccups... As I've kept saying this isn't an easy or quick recovery road being that Jason was in a life threatening state for a period of time. In addition to the physical aspect of this recovery we were hoping to spend some time together within the beauty and nature of Maine. While up here being in nature would assist in the coping and healing process for the mental and emotional effects of this trauma, but these hiccups are delaying that process as physical recovery comes first!
We again would like to say how thankful we are for the family who has opened their home to us. Although we are almost an hour from the hospital/team that has been caring for him, this is better than hours away in RI!! Please continue to share, donate, and PLEASE keep sending positive vibes and thoughts our way! Thank you everyone!!!
1/5/17: Urine and blood work have been taken... he is drinking the contrast liquid for the CT scan over the next hour then has to wait an hour. He will also have an IV of this contrast. Next he'll have the CT scan and we will wait for results, recommendations... so about 3 hours till we know anything... if it is an abscess he will have to be re-admitted to the hospital
1/6/17: Blood test, urine test, and CT scan came back inconclusive. Jason was prescribed 2 antibiotics. No one seemed to be concerned about the hole that was getting bigger where the stitches once were and where drainage was leaking. Jason was discharged from the ER around 1am.
1/6/17 We woke up to the hole in his abdomen being bigger. This was concerning because it was large and you could see inside, keep gross! So the surgerical office had us come in again... for the third time this week! The surgeon, PA, nurse and med assistant all examined. It was determined that the drainage is due to superficial infection, hence why he was prescribed 2 antibiotics yesterday. They soaked up and irrigated that hole. They also packed the hole with this stuff called silvercel, they pack the gun shot holes with this a well... it worked great. It helps heal the wound/hole from the inside out by soaking up any fluids and treating any possible infections. The silvercel has been be changed daily and the gauze on top should be changed as necessary (drainage wise). Packing the hole is a bit out of my scope as I don't think my stomach can handle that! The in-home team was faxed instructions and they will come out Saturday and Sunday to assist with this. We will go back Monday to see the PA in the surgerical office so they can closely monitor the hole and it's healing.
Where the feeding tube was and where the liver drain was are no longer draining
One step forward two steps back seems to be the infamous line of all of the medical professionals assisting in this process.
We are hopeful things will get easier physical healing wise so our focus can be moved directly to the mental and emotional healing process of this trauma. Both Jason and I are people with good work ethic so it is difficult to be out of work and collecting TDI. This puts a burden on us financially as we don't see our whole paycheck and mentally it isn't easy either as we both want to be working, we like being productive and active citizens! We want our life to be "normal" again but we are trying to accept the fact that this will take time. I had officially moved in with Jason early fall and unfortunately due to life stressors we hadn't even finish unpacking or organizing our loft apartment. Being that we haven't been home since before Thanksgiving we also will be coming home to the shambles of our place. This all is far from easy but let me tell you, Jason and I's love, bond, connection continues to grow stronger and I know in my heart and my mind that will get through this...
We would like to thank everyone again for the continued support. The outpouring of love and support from friends, family and strangers has been uplifting. It gives us hope after experiencing a crime this violent. So many people have reached out to offer verbal support, people are donating, sharing our gofundme page, coming up to Maine to visit us, sending us care packages... it's just amazing. We can't thank you all enough. We can't do this alone. We are beyond thankful for the family who has opened up their home to us. We are beyond grateful for them and their generosity. Not only is it a warm, safe home in a beautiful area of Maine, but they as a family are by far the kindest people we have ever met. They are also fun, loving and supportive. Their sons provides some much needed comic relief and is absolutely adorable! Jason and him have formed an awesome bond! We love them!
The physical aspect of this recovery road may seem like it's almost over but Jason will need to work hard to get his body back to where it was when he was snowboarding, skating, hiking and surfing. This won't happen overnight... nor will our healing in terms of managing and coping from this intensive trauma - mentally and emotionally. I am thankful for my grad school education and training, specifically in trauma treatment. Having this knowledge and experience has proven to be helpful and effective in assisting us. We are a team and we will get through this, it won't be easy, but we will be stronger individually and more connected as a couple.