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This fundraiser ended on 08/31/10

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I had Cauda Equina Syndrome and the resulting back surgery (without insurance) has left me completely, totally and utterly broke. I need help with continued medical care and my basic needs like food and housing.

10 years ago I broke my back in a boat accident in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.  As a result I have experienced varying degrees of back pain and problems.  Just after Christmas of last year, I had what I thought was another episode of back pain.  In the past, the pain was bad short term, but usually resolved with rest and ibuprofen and hot showers in 2 weeks or so.  This time, the pain got progressively worse and worse over the following 3 weeks.  One night in January 2010 I woke up with an extremely urgent need to go to the bathroom.  I could barely stand up my back hurt so bad, and I had to use the wall to hold myself up to get down the hall to the bathroom.  When I finally reached the bathroom, I found that no matter how hard I tried I could not relieve myself.  I began to make my way back to my bedroom to call my mom, the nurse, but before I made it all the way back down the hall, still holding onto the wall I lost the use of my left leg.  I collapsed onto the hallway floor in more pain than I imagined was humanly possible to bear.  I then lost control of my bladder and my bowels, and I knew something was wrong.  I spent about a half an hour dragging myself to the wall where my phone was plugged in, and I called 911.  An ambulance took me to the hospital where I was rushed into emergency X-rays and an MRI.  Within about 90 minutes I was visited by a neurosurgeon who informed me that I needed emergency surgery to insure I wouldn't permanently lose the use of my leg(s), bladder and bowels.  And within a matter of hours of collapsing in my hallway I was in surgery having a piece of my spine removed so they could relieve the pressure on my spinal cord.  The condition that caused this is called Cauda Equina Syndrome, it's very rare and considering my age, almost unheard of.  

The recovery was excruciating, I spent the first week in a recliner because I was unable to lie down flat.  It was weeks, actually months before I could move, walk, stand up, sit down, walk down stairs etc without the use of a walker.  I was told that the surgery had been a success in regards to relieving the pressure on my spinal cord, but the level to which I would recover wouldn't be known for 6-12 months and up to 2 years after the surgery.  At this point I am better than I was before surgery, but I am still in constant pain.  

That's the "back" story to how we got here, but the reason I find myself here is because I had this surgery and the resulting aftercare without insurance of any kind.  I have over $60,000 in medical bills currently and my saving has been completely exhausted.  I am simply out of options.  I've applied for medicaid and some other forms of assistance and financing but have gotten the same answer... "You're educated, you have skills, you made too much money last year, etc."  

Help!

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