I want to tell you about my grandmother’s struggle for her life and the financial mess that is left behind.
November of 2004, Jewell underwent open-heart surgery to replace her mitral heart valve. 5 years later, the doctors have discovered that she has Mitral Valve Regurgitation which means that her heart valve was nearly detached, infected, and causing numerous other problems. She underwent surgery at Cleveland Clinic on Monday, November 22, 2009.
Numerous doctors straight out refused to do the surgery because they didn’t think her survival rate was high enough to risk it. The longest that any doctor gave her to live without the surgery was 3 months! The family was shocked, heart-broken, and lost looking for an answer.
Finally, one doctor was willing to do the surgery but we had to wait for him to come home from a conference he was speaking at. While we waited for the doctor’s return Jewell was in and out of the hospital with an infection, pneumonia, and even swine flu! Eventually Jewell was transported by ambulance to Cleveland Clinic to wait for the doctor’s next opening.
The day arrived when she was to go to surgery and we were all a wreck. Family from all over drove in to stay with her the day before and share what may have been our last moments with her. We had a good time laughing, sharing, and taking pictures (all of which we do each time we get together). The morning of the surgery was solemn as we all said our goodbyes and waited, waited, and waited for the results of the surgery.
Praise the Lord! Oh, praise the Lord! She made it through the surgery better than the doctor had expected. She has experienced a lot of highs and lows since the surgery but the doctors feel she is making good progress. The week before Christmas she was sent back to her hometown in WV to get further rehabilitation. She has been able to remove the trache months sooner than the doctors thought and she doesn’t need the speech therapy they thought she would need. Just this week the doctors have allowed her to start eating pureed foods and they’ve removed the feeding tube!
Jewell, is one of the strongest, amazing, most faithful women I know. She can beat this; with God’s healing and help, they can beat this! Buuuut, while she is unable to work her retired and barely mobile husband, Jim is left without enough income to stay warm, keep the lights on and keep fed. Donations of food and money have been given but not near enough. Jewell’s out of pocket medical bills are going to be outrageous! She (the family & donors) had to pay $1800 for the ambulance to drive her from Cleveland Clinic to the hospital in WV she is at for rehab. Why didn’t her insurance cover it? Because it wasn’t a necessary trip, they would have paid to drive her to a local re-hab center in Cleveland but they only paid the first 5 miles to drive her back to WV.
While Jewell was in Cleveland for those 2+ months family members took off work, took short-term disability, gave up all of their Christmas, a good bit of their savings to be there and help comfort her. Now, the family doesn’t have much more to give emotionally and nothing left financially.
This is where you come in, I would love to have something to give her from my blogging friends!
You can help out in three ways:
–Donations can be made. I’m looking for sponsors to help match the donations, so if your company or a company you know would be interested in that please have them email me.
-Cards are very much appreciated! Each card, flower arrangement, or gift she gets puts a smile on her face. Nothing fancy is required but if you feel led to write her a note of encouragement I would love for you to do so! (Address below)
-What we need mostly is prayer. To my knowledge, I know of several small towns and churches that are praying. Friends old and new, and complete strangers are praying. That’s exactly what we need. Pray for her to make it through. Pray for the family to remain strong. Pray for her to keep up with the difficult rehab. Pray for her husband to come to know the Lord and be strong during this trying time.
Cards & packages can be sent to:
PO Box 189
Tad, WV 25201
Regular updates on Jewell can be found at CaringBridge.org/visit/JewellSiders
Thank you for letting me share my burden and letting me lean on you during this time. I’m not as strong as she is.