Accident Disabled Man Seeks Financial Help For Mortgage And Auto Payments
by Randall Andreano
(Port Allegany PA, USA)
I'm 47 years old male and married to my loving wife Nancy. We have one son and one beautiful granddaughter.
I worked as a nurse for 22 years mostly in pediatrics, and also as a respiratory technician.
I have also owned my own business as an auto mechanic for the last four years, working 16-18 hours a day between the two jobs. I helped people who could not afford to pay to have their automobiles repaired, sometimes working for free or for just the cost of parts.
I have always cared for the broken, whether people or mechanical. With the help of my wife Nancy, I was a youth pastor for five years and a member of the worship team for 12 years.
In 1990 I was in an automobile accident that left me in a great deal of hurt with two broken hips, a broken pelvis, seven broken ribs and a concussion.
Seven years ago I began having back pain, so I started seeing my doctor. Over the next five years the pain and symptoms grew worse. He did some x-rays and discovered that I had at some time in my life broken my back. We both believe it goes back to the car wreck.
In 2008 I was working as a tractor-trailer mechanic when I was run over by one of the trucks that I was working on. I had no broken bones but a lot of torn muscles in my back and hips and this aggravated the already existing condition. I returned to work in five weeks and worked through most of the pain.
Over the next couple of years I had tried to avoid the inevitable surgery that my doctor said was going to have to happen with the symptoms I was having: pain and numbness in my legs and feet, drop foot in both feet and incredible amounts of pain.
I ended up going in for surgery, on a L5 S1 spinal fusion, in December of 2010 but the unseen problems showed in the form of damaged nerves in my lower back.
I had a second surgery in January of 2011. It was to retrieve a piece of the old disc that was accidentally left in my back and pinched between the cage in my back and a nerve, causing more damage.
Then I had a third surgery in March of 2011 due to uncontrollable back, hip and nerve pain. I tried a temporary stimulator to see if this would help with pain before a permanent one could be implanted.
In April of 2011, I had a fourth surgery where a permanent spinal cord stimulator was placed in my hip.
I ended up having four surgeries in five months. I now have a spinal cord stimulator in my back, and I'm in constant chronic pain, and on several pain medications to help control it.
My surgeon told me that I would be back to work in six months, but that time passed quickly. I lost my job as a nurse and had to shut down my garage.
I lost my health insurance and now find myself unable to work again. I'm unable to find affordable insurance because of my pre-existing condition.
I am not eligible for public welfare because I own my home and my car, so I struggle with those bills plus medical care.
My financial hardship is making my mortgage and car payments. Because I did not have disability insurance on any of my loans, what savings we did have went fast.
Now we are being called on a daily basis by bill collectors. We're doing the best we can to stay afloat.
We have been paying medical bills out of pocket as best as we can along with medications, some of which I have elected not to get because of the cost of them.
My pain medications cost me almost $200 for the month. I cannot function without them. We have no health insurance and I am unable to get Medicaid through SSDI until I have received SSDI for two years or July of 2013.
I've been receiving $1200 a month from SSDI since July 2011.
I have recently tried to start work in my garage as of February 2012, to try and earn the extra income needed to help pay the bills.
I work about 16-20 hours a month, or as long as I can stand the pain. I have sold my 2000 Ford truck and used that money to pay some bills and buy an older cheaper truck.
I sold my classic car a 1964 Mercury Comet for $5,000 to help pay some bills.
To pay bills and buy groceries, I have sold some of the things that I have saved over my lifetime: coin collections, pocket watches, that sort of stuff.
I do continue to tithe at church believing God will provide.
My wife currently works two part-time jobs to help with bills, but one job is seasonal and she will be laid off for the summer from the school district.
She is not eligible to draw unemployment, due to some school regulations so she will be down to 1 to 2 days a week at the other job as a cook at a diner.
We applied for a sliding fee scale at our local hospital and will be given 75% off doctor visits, but not labs, x-rays or blood work. They have also given us a pharmacy card that helps some at the pharmacy.
I would really love to be able to work again, but it's not likely in my physical state. I have been called a liability by more than one employer. I guess I can understand.
I am only looking for help to be able to pay the mortgage without fear of losing my home. If I could find a grant that would allow me to take a big chunk out of the bills I still owe that would be wonderful.
I have no plans as to how to run my business at this time but would like some advice with those in similar situations.