Plea for Economic Assistance
February 9, 2016
I have thought about how to word this communication for 3 weeks. Jan and I have given our lives in service of our fellow man and woman kind. Forty years of medical practice in primary care and not a single mistake that injured a patient. No lawsuits or even the threat of a lawsuits. I taught myself psychiatry at the request of my patients with some tutoring from a medical school classmate who was trained in child psychiatry. I served at the largest State Mental hospital in Texas in Wichita Falls, Texas. This included, the State’s only forensic unit in Vernon, Texas. These were institutions of last resort. The sickest of the sick. While I worked there I witnessed the systematic destruction of a hospital system that was a model for the nation before George Bush became Governor. The budget was cut every year even when the State had a surplus.
I suffer from advanced degenerative arthritis of the spine and feet, and migraine headaches and was declared Disabled by a Social Security Judge in 2010. According to the American Disabilities Act of 1990, this designation caries a compensation of $6,000/mo, but I only received $4500, and that was stopped abruptly and illegally in January of 2013. We fought this injustice until a few months ago, when our last appeal was denied. The attorneys representing the Texas Employees Retirement Fund sided with the insurance company that I had paid $70/mo for 8 years. This insurer no longer had any ties with the state as their contract had been dropped, so it was no loss to the state to demand that the insurer pony up the $4500/mo. Throughout the illegal forcing me to retire on a disability the State of Texas violated the 1990 Act 8 times. Attorneys who advertised that they took disability cases told me that there were so many deadlines written into the laws that there was no chance of winning. In addition, under the pretense of eliminating “nuisance” law suits the state put a limit of $350,000 on punitive damages which made such lawsuits totally “unprofitable” for the attorneys. Just like the stock market, the system was rigged and the legal system was rigged. The small guy had no chance to regain loses caused by abuse or negligence by any organization.
This is already too wordy, and so I will get to the point. WE have appealed to many charitable organizations who claim to help the disabled, and been turned down because “we make too much money”, but they do not consider our expenses. Three of the four family members are disabled without compensation. And the caretaker, my wife Jan, has fallen into deep despair watching the two men she cares the most about (myself and my 38 y/o son) deteriorate with inherited diseases second rate medical care. She had to choose between my my son and Mentally Retarded ( yes that is not pc, but it describes her level of dysfunction) sister who lives with us. Our medical expenses, mostly for medications was $27,000 in 2014, and I expect the 2015 total will be about the same. By the way, I have documentation for everything I have said in this cry for help.
Currently, without donations of funds, we will be unable to buy the expensive medications that enable me to function and I will be bed ridden and a rapid further deterioration will follow. My sons fate is the most tragic, because in spite of his immense talents he cannot even get an interview because the computerized screening of his résumé detect gaps in his employment due to his rare GI disease. He has lost all hope in having the life he dreamed of. He was an outstanding student in HS and also at Southwestern University a second tier small liberal arts school of 1400 students. The science department was strong and he was the dominate student in every class including all of his science classes. The professors had to tell him to not respond to open questions as he would articulate the answers with the supporting data in an eloquent style as soon as the questions were completed, and no other students had a chance to respond. After his sophomore year he was selected as the recipient of a grant to do research of his choosing. He was well on his way to a publishable paper and had outside companies interested in acquiring the patent rights for his rapid identification of the oak wilt fungus. Then disease struck. Acute abdominal pain and several trips to the ER, was finally diagnosed as retrograde flow of bile into the stomach and the removal of his gallbladder at age 21 (fairly common in Latinos but unheard od in Caucasians). The pathologist stated it was the most necrotic gallbladder he had ever scene. But this surgery only stopped the acute trips to the ER and left him with a combination of GERD, delayed gastric emptying and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, lumped into a garbage bag diagnosis of ‘Functional GI Disease”. No GI specialist would see him once they knew the diagnosis. Now, 15 years later there has been enough research that there are two drugs in the pipeline that address this issue.
Currently, without donations of funds, we will be unable to buy the expensive medications that enable me to function and I will be bed ridden and a rapid further deterioration will follow. We have $5,000/mo income and $7000/mo of expenses. In addition, for those of you unfamiliar with Medicare, during the first of every year there is a “donut whole”, a period where Medicare pays nothing for medication until the out of pocket total reaches $4,700, then Medicare pays 100%. This takes about 6 months.
I am choosing to request donations in Obama’s style, many small donations instead of a few large ones. If 20 families or individuals could donate $50/month for at least through June, then our economic woes would be more palatable.
Please understand that we walk out talk. We use 10% of the Austin average water consumption. We have never attended a single musical event, movie or other entertainment since we moved to Austin (because my son lives here). We had no idea of the corruption in the State in which the radical right has complete control of every level of Government once George Bush was elected Governor. We have already had to declare bankruptcy once due to this vice like grip on the State’s policies and procedures, designed to make this state friendly only to the rich.
So, please let us know one way or another if you are willing to participate in preventing the continuing downward spiral of the economics of our family. There will be no resentment if you cannot contribute, but we need to know if we need to broaden the range of the people that we send requests to in order to raise the needed funds. For more detail, see the Long Version.
A gentleman and a scholar, Austin, Texas
12624 Timber Heights
Austin, Texas 78754