Please help us pay off Ron's first surgery, in order for him to have his second surgery to get him back on the path to a healthier life.
On May 1st, 2012 Ron asked me to take him to the doctor, because of debilitating pain in his lower left abdomen. The doctors visit revealed his white blood cell count was through the roof, and he had a mass in his lower left abdomen. I know they thought it was cancer, and it was our fear also. After an x-ray and a CT scan the following morning, the diagnosis was in - a large 4 inch abcess in his lower colon, due to diverticulitis.
They sent us to see a surgeon at the local medical center, and she in turn sent us straight up to Baptist Integris hospital in Oklahoma City. She told me not to stop and pack a toothbrush, but to get him to their ER immediately. That was May 2nd, 2012, and within 2 hours of reaching the ER in the city, Ron had emergency, life saving surgery to remove a large abcess that was in his colon. It all happened so fast. He was whisked from doctor to doctor and then to the OR.
His surgeon explained that he'd have to remove part of the colon that had the abcess and he'd need to be on a colostomy bag for 6 months. After that time, he'd be able to put everything back together in a second surgery and remove the ostomy. Ron recovered well from the surgery and felt much better than he had in the months leading up to it. He was placed on light duties, with no lifting and no stairs while he healed. He returned to work three weeks after the surgery.
While we are eternally thankful he's still alive, now we are faced with the reality - we have no medical insurance and the medical bills are all in, to the tune of $15,000. We know this is incredibly 'cheap' compared to what the full cost should have been. His surgeon charged the bare minimum, and the hospital discounted their bill from $61,500 down to $9,000. With the surgeon's fee, the hospital, the ER, the anesthesiologist and the pathology lab, we owe $15,000.
We thought he'd be able to go ahead and have the second surgery around November, but now we have learned we have to pay off the first surgery before Ron can have the second surgery. So now he will have to wait a few years, as we pay off about three hundred a month, which is all we can afford to pay. So, physically, Ron could have the second surgery in 4 months, but financially, he'll have to wait years.
Now a new issue has arisen. He has developed a hernia under the stoma which is now causing the stoma itself to slowly prolapse (increase in length). The complication that could arise is that the blood supply to the stoma may become restricted. He can't wait years to have this hernia and prolapse repaired. He must have this second surgery as soon as possible to repair the hernia, remove the stoma and reconnect his colon.
We are asking for help to achieve this goal. Ron has handled this huge adjustment to going on the ostomy bag with courage, making me so proud of him. But he needs this second surgery in the original timeframe the surgeon gave us of approximately 6 months, and for that we must pay off the first surgery.
If you are able to help us, we will appreciate it so much, and God bless you in advance.
Jeanette Funderburg, Ron's wife