Updated: Jun 20, 2019
I woke up from one nightmare into another in the hospital. The life Matt and I had worked to create was crumbling around us. While I had been busy trying not to die, the world around me continued to spin. Bills continued to reach and surpass due dates. Because while I was sick, Matt was unfortunately part of the infamous government shutdown we just experienced. He had to continue to go into work without pay. And now I also was not working or earning money. While I was unconscious, Matt struggled to strategize how he would keep our apartment going, pay student loans, and even afford gas to drive into work which he wasn't getting paid for. By the time I was conscious enough to operate a computer, it was problem solving time.
Dipping into the money I had saved up for our wedding, we managed to get all the bills paid for December that had come and passed. But not knowing how long the shut down would last and if I would ever return to work, we both knew that we would very quickly run into a crisis. I had to not only focus on trying to recover physically but worry about my financial stability. Surgeries are expensive. Would my health insurance cover everything? Because now there was discussion of sending me to a rehab facility to try and regain strength and mobility. Would I even be able to afford to keep my health insurance to cover my extensive hospital bills. Ideally a patient should not have to worry about finances when trying to recover, and yet this is the world that we live in. My family explored the option of me trying to get approved for social security as there was no promise of a future for me at that point.
My job had been in frequent communication with my family while I was in the hospital, and instead of cutting their losses and kicking me to the curb, they rallied around me. They assured me that my job would be waiting for me to return, and they started a GoFundMe to help with the situation. Because I had been so sick, my mom was not able to work as well due to needing to be in the hospital almost daily as complication after complication occurred. I never imagined being apart of a company that would look out for their employees as much as Savida did. With their efforts, along with friends sharing the campaign on facebook and family sending it across the Atlantic Ocean to Ireland where my family hails from, over $20,000 was raised in a matter of days.
The relief we all felt was immense. We knew that Matt and I could keep our apartment, and I could pay my monthly insurance premium and any other medical bills that would creep up over time. In NP school we discussed how socioeconomic factors can effect a patient's health and access to quality healthcare. I saw this first hand, and the stress it puts on a sick person is indescribable. It was all I could focus on for days instead of trying to give my body and mind the rest it needed. A patient's job in a hospital should be to get better, not figuring out how to afford rent while they are incapacitated. And the guilt associated with this situation started to become crushing. I kept apologizing to Matt and my family for putting them through this situation. I would be on a long apology tour during this whole process.
Not only did I have my job rally around me, I had friends, family, and my high school. I was floored when I saw my high school's facebook page share my link, and seeing not only the names of women I had not seen since the infamous tornado warning in 2010 on our graduation day along with names of people I did not know. The kindness of strangers will never cease to amaze me.
This post is dedicated to anyone who donated to my GoFundMe. It was solid proof that even small acts of kindness can change someone's life. And especially to my Savida family. My family and I will never forget your generosity.