35 Year Old Woman Disabled By Botched Surgery Seeks Medical Debt Relief
by Jennifer B
(New York, NY, USA)
I am writing for my sister because she is unable to use her arms to hold a book or use the computer for more than 5 minutes per day without intense, paralyzing pain.
She will be 35 this July and does not have children or any further education other than being trained as a highly skilled massage therapist in a chiropractic office.
She worked for ten years doing this and had to have operations, which have now rendered her partially disabled.
She is in constant agonizing pain 1.5 years after her 8 surgeries, which only made the problem worse.
She has no training and has been living on disability, which barely covers her medical bills.
My mom is also very sick with hepatitis C and works long hours and then comes home to take care of my sister, who can barely get out of bed to make it to her physical therapy and other doctor appointments.
My mom's salary is extremely low and she has been forced to take a loan out on our home which there is no way she will be able to pay back.
She will not be able to work for more than a couple of years due to her declining health and pays her bills with this loan.
I am afraid my mom will lose her house, and my sister will have no chance at work.
Previous to her surgeries, she was able to work, but she has been rendered disabled by her neurologist.
She can barely use her arms, fingers or upper trunk for more than 3-5 minute stretches.
She has gone into menopause at age 35 due to the trauma her body has suffered and badly wants children and a family.
I don't know what will happen to them but the prospect is very scary.
My sister is partially disabled and perhaps permanently. She has a disabled placard and hasn't been able to drive for over five years.
She was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and had four surgeries where they cut her scalene muscles and removed her ribs.
The surgeon botched all four surgeries, which turned out to be something out of a horror film and took her over a year to even get out of bed after.
After this, she went in for re-do surgeries in the hope that four more similar surgeries would repair what the surgeon botched.
Unfortunately, it did not.
It has been 1.5 years since the surgery and she is very ill; she throws up at least once or twice per day.
She's on pain medication that eats away at her stomach and makes her IBS constantly activated and in pain.
Her lymph system was nicked and she gained 45 pounds of fluid, which still hasn't left her body.
She has become severely depressed because of the unbearable, unrelenting pain she is in.
She feels like a burden on our mother, who is also very sick and needs chemo or a liver transplant and has to work 12-hour days.
She hasn't received a raise in over five years and recently had her week cut to four days instead of five due to the company she works for not being financially successful.
My sister barely receives enough money to cover her physical therapy and residual doctor appointments.
Her stomach has been damaged from the pain medicine, severe constant nausea, severe depression over her pain and life situation.
She's been rendered disabled and infertile at age 35 when her dream is to become a mother.
The surgeries have made her so much worse and she is mostly bedridden.
We have tried to sue this surgeon but no lawyer would take the case because TOS is a very complicated disease and now the statute of limitations has run out.
I just want a chance for my sister to heal. She hasn't been able to sleep for more than 2 hours in a stretch in the last 2-3 years since all 8 surgeries have been performed.
She has become so pain ridden and depressed with the loss of hope that I barely recognize her.
She has become a shell of herself, whereas she used to be a beautiful, young, physically fit active young lady.
My mom's condition has worsened after seeing what my sister has gone through during the past five years and the stress has taken its toll.
She has lost all of the muscle mass in her body and looks like an 80-year-old woman and she is only 56.
All three of us moved in together five years ago while searching for my sister's diagnosis as her health went downhill in order to take care of her.
She was unable to do this for herself, which is humiliating and a degradation in itself.
She cannot drive and hasn't been able to for over five years.
She cannot leave home alone as her neck muscles are not strong enough to support her head.
Her ribs don't help hold her up so she passes out a lot and needs someone to walk with her just to be safe.
She is on many medications, which make her even sicker because they have eaten away her stomach and she has horrible acid reflux.
My mom and I have both become very depressed and my mom hardly leaves the house but to work since my sister needs so much help.
My sister is an intelligent, independent, self-sufficient (before the accident) woman and has always supported herself without asking for anything from anyone.
She feels like a burden and has lost all hope that her pain can be allayed. She hates being on medication and tries to go to physical therapy 2-3 times per week.
She can usually only make it to 1-2 due to nausea, vomiting, weakness and sleeplessness from the previous night and months of not sleeping.
Because my mom has had to help my sister with her medical bills and take time off to take her to doctor's appointments so often, has been forced to take out a huge loan only to pay her bills.
The system has failed my family and we need help. My mom is sick and cannot pay off this loan and I cannot believe they would give her such a loan knowing that she makes a meager salary.
We are looking for a grant to help pay for a treatment center for my sister to go to, for her re-education for a new career.
She can never be a professional massage therapist in a chiropractic office again or ever use her arms for anything.
We need help for my mom to pay the overwhelming amount of bills she is becoming more and more buried in.
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