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Government Grant Money To Help Single Mom Disabled By Botched Surgery

by Beverly Colfax
(Bloomingdale, New Jersey, USA)

My name is Beverly. I'm a divorced, 45-year-old single mom. My husband has been deceased since 2005. My son will be 22 years old in July.

I live in a very run-down duplex. Since being here for 5+ years, we've had three very bad floods.

I lost all of my only child's pictures from birth to late teens, along with pictures of family and friends while growing up. All our yearbooks were destroyed.

Those were precious memories I'll never get back. Everything else lost was just that, a loss.

I would love to move out of this house as soon as we possibly can. I've been looking to do that since the very first flood with no luck.

Rents are so high considering we are on Section 8 voucher program and the limits are quite low. It seems impossible to find something that suits our needs.

I do have a precious two and a half year old Silky Terrier that I can't give up. He's like my child.

Disability Issues

In 1989 I was involved in a motor vehicle accident. I was helping my then boyfriend on an Arnold Bread Truck do vacation routes.

We were finding the stores and delivering the goods when the truck violently flipped several times over and over.

I have permanent back and neck injuries resulting from that.

Over the next several years I had several surgeries not relating to the accident. I continuously grew ovarian cysts and had them removed at least 10 times, and I had my gallbladder removed.

I was and still am diabetic, asthmatic and have the back and neck pain.

In 1998 I had a nissen fundoplication to help with my severe reflux, then in 2006 I had a gastric bypass.

That doctor totally ruined me for life. He was supposed to un-do the nissen surgery from 1998 and did not.

This left me with a stomach that was basically cut in half, and within six months I almost died. The gastrointestinal doctor that found the problem recommended emergency surgery to save my life.

They found that since my stomach was cut like that, acid was going from one side to the next, causing bleeding ulcers all over.

It was very hard to find a surgeon to help fix the problem because for one I was on Medicaid and two, doctors didn't want to take on another doctor's work.

I finally found someone who had me in emergency surgery within a week, and after eight hours, saved my life. At my first post-op visit to his office, his staff all stood and clapped. No one thought I would make it through it but here I am.

My "pouch" is as small as a baby food jar, since 95% of my stomach had to be removed. I have really had no quality of life since though.

We ended up being evicted from the only home my son ever lived in because someone bought the rental home and lied and said she wanted to live there.

My doctor said I couldn't lift anything yet but the judge made us move. Then I had to have another surgery to fix the hernia the move resulted in.

Shortly after the move, this house flooded. Tons of mold downstairs resulted and there was no help from the landlord.

I ended up getting Pleurisy, which until then I had never even heard of. I had huge tubes put in me to save my life again.

That was two years and four months ago. I was in so much pain from that surgery and to this day my side where they were still hurts so bad.

Today I was discharged from the hospital again. I have no energy whatsoever because I can only eat a few bites at a time. Also I have to watch what I eat because of the diabetes.

I also have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, radiculopathy, Hypersomnia, severe depression and anxiety.

My son is bipolar with ADHD and has been classified as such since seventh grade. He also fell off a ladder and last week fell through one of the weak steps here that go to the basement.

My landlord was told several times about them being weak since the first flood but he doesn't do much around here to fix the place.

That was the second time my son fell through one of them. He had his second disability hearing last week. We are awaiting an answer.

He lost his Medicaid without any warning when he turned 21. So he went cold turkey on bipolar and ADHD meds, allergy shots, pain meds and everything else he was on.

This was also the second time this has happened. He now has Medicaid part G that will pay for medicine but not doctors or hospitals.

It's very hard to get him to even go to a doctor let alone a new one. He can't get his medicines without a doctor to write out prescriptions.

So my disability is supporting both of us basically.

I get less then $700 to live on and have used credit cards many times just to buy food and clothing.

Financial Hardship

Living on less than $700 to pay rent, utilities, credit cards, food, car maintenance and clothing is very hard.

We do get EBT but with two adults, it doesn't buy much at all.

I have a lot of credit card debt and owe a few friends and we need to move. I'm physically not able to do all the work it takes to move.

I have no money for a realtor, a moving company, or a down payment on a new or rental home.

I would need someone to pack all my stuff. Also, my brother passed away and I have his furniture in a storage unit because I'm afraid of everything getting ruined with the floods here. That payment goes on my credit cards monthly also.

My son never had a real bedroom set so if we can find a home he has furniture waiting for him. The living room furniture we have now really needs to be thrown out.

I know there is a Homeownership Program for Section 8 recipients but would need financial help. I need to live somewhere with no more steps, or just a couple if any.

I need to be somewhere that doesn't flood so we are not always worried. It has to be somewhere bigger than this shoebox so I can use my walker or wheelchair when I need to. We just need help.

Income Efforts

I have appealed my son's case several times. I collected for him from his father's benefit until he turned 18. With his problems, I thought it was supposed to be "adult childhood disability" after he turned 18 but we lost that benefit altogether.

He gets general assistance of $210 a month while we are waiting for his 2nd hearing outcome. I get SSI $249 and SSD $4?? (sorry don't know exactly right now).

I owe one friend over $6000 and for another friend I lost count. I can't borrow any more. Besides the fact they now don't have it to give, I have no way to re-pay them.

I get some canned goods from church. I've lost both parents, two brothers and a sister and countless other family members and friends in the past 10-15 years as well as my son's father.

I have no one left to borrow from. I've never had a grant.

I've been trying to sell my truck for a long time. Many are interested but no one comes with money. A few have offered less than half its value, but I need at least half to pay back the friend I owe $6000.

Specific Needs

I need for my son to win his case. We ended up hiring Binder and Binder to help. At his hearing though, the advocate hardly said a word to help the case. I feel he doesn't deserve that high percentage of work I basically did before they were even hired.

I just want a safe place to live, one that doesn't flood and doesn't have many steps to get in. I need to pay my debts off. I need help.

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Mar 06, 2013
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Blooming Blunder
by: Ken

Hi Beverly,

I had the same thing, and not one doctor or lawyer would take on the case. They all need the same help when it comes to expert witnesses. I had to go to a town far away and worked on a contingency fee. It may be worth revisiting for you. You have a statute of limitations, but you do have a new release. Work on it. You may be surprised.

Best wishes,
Ken

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