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This fundraiser ended on 03/31/13

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The family of Yossi Stein is uniting to raise money to help him with medical costs and related expenses not covered by insurance.

Yossi just celebrated his 64th birthday on September 1st 2012, in the hospital’s intensive care unit with his loving wife and two daughters. While this might not have been the ideal environment to celebrate he had a lot to be grateful for considering that just one week earlier, he was on life support. Two weeks before that, Yossi contracted sepsis-an infection that attacked his organs with snake-like ferocity. It assaulted his blood, stomach, gall bladder, eyes and lungs. My family really believed that this was going to be the end…but Yossi is a fighter…and fought off this attack.

In 1990, Yossi was hit by a drunk driver on his way to work. He broke his neck and back putting him out of work for a year and in a halo for 7 months. The repercussions of this car accident have continued to plague Yossi. In 2007, Yossi had a high risk spinal cord surgery. The surgery should have only been 6 hours but lasted 10. His wife had a feeling something went horribly wrong-and her suspicions were later confirmed when he woke up paralyzed. It was the worst possible scenario that nobody ever believed would come true. Due to his determination to walk and dance at the future weddings of his two daughters’, he decided that being paralyzed wasn’t an option. He pushed the limits and worked through the pain with incessant determination. He amazed all the nurses and doctors by leaving the rehab center on his two feet. A few weeks later, he was invited back for a luncheon, where he was awarded "Patient of the Year."

Yossi's fight did not end here! Money was tight, and against doctor’s orders, Yossi returned to work. He didn’t walk and move as fast as his coworkers, but felt good to contribute to his family’s finances. When you have a spinal cord injury, your brain doesn’t send the proper signals to other parts of your body. Twice, Yossi fell and injured himself badly, leading to three more surgeries which caused a regression in his rehabilitation process. To give him round the clock care, his wife even slept on a recliner chair next to her husband’s hospital bed in the living room once he could return home. Yossi had no choice but to go on short-term disability while recuperating from his surgeries.

In August 2010, just as he was preparing to reenter the workforce, Yossi fell in the middle of the night hitting his head, causing a series of multiple strokes within hours of being admitted to the hospital. This is where the story goes back to that familiar starting point. He went back to rehab to learn how to walk, talk, and do the basic everyday things that most people take for granted. He lost his short term memory and his ability to work altogether. The medical bills have continued piling up. Yossi and his family have been forced to claim bankruptcy from being buried in medical debt.  His partial income didn’t afford the mortgage payments and led to foreclosure.Everything he worked so hard for his entire life is being pulled from right underneath his feet. No family should have to lose everything including their home that they worked so hard for because a family member is sick. It is very disheartening and sad.

Yossi and his family soon went through their entire life savings and 401k. Just when things were finally settling down, Yossi fell again fracturing his hip. He was at the rehab center for 6 weeks when he was suddenly discharged because insurance wouldn’t pay for him to stay any longer. Less than twelve hours after returning home he woke up screaming in agony with a skyrocketing fever. An ambulance was called and he was readmitted to the hospital with a major urinary tract infection, obstructed bowel, and blood infection, known as sepsis. The infection was shutting down his major organs and he was intubated for 5 days. This was the most fearful his family had ever been. With much prayer and unconditional support from family and friends who flew in from around the country, Yossi came off of life support, and the first thing he said was “I have to go back to work, when can I go back to work? God must have a better plan!" It broke his family’s hearts.

Instead of him focusing on his own health he was stressing about money. He than started talking about his bucket list and all the things he wanted to accomplish before he died. He wanted to go to Paris, go to the concentration camps in Germany that his family perished in, drive a supped up Cadillac, and dance with his daughters at their weddings. I am starting this fundraiser, for my dad, Yossi "Joe" Stein, to help him with his medical expenses so he can focus on healing and not stress over money. I also want to make his wishes come true. My dad is my hero, he is the wind beneath my wings, and everyone who knows him would say that he is their hero too. Thank you for giving forward. It is a true mitzvah! Love, Elaine (wife) Michelle & Judy (daughters)

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