Monday, September 28, 2009

Uninsured father needs lung transplant - family faces financial crisis & seeks help

I receive many requests from the U.S. looking for advice and help with the financial burdens associated with a family member's organ transplant, without which they will die. Betty Phillips' story especially touched me and she has given me permission to post it here. Any advice or help will be greatly appreciated by the Phillips family.

Dear Mr. Sheppard,

My husband, Lance, fifty-four years old, was diagnosed in Nov.' 08 with pulmonary fibrosis. For thirty-three years of our marriage he had worked two jobs in order to provide extras for his three children. He worked at a local furniture factory for thirty-three years, and while there, had health insurance with a group plan. He also owned and operated a small fiberglass insulation business since 1978.

Three years ago he quit his factory job in order to go into his business full-time. Not many months after, he began experiencing breathing problems. He kept it from us until his breathing became so labored, he could no longer hide it. He is on oxygen full-time, and unable to do the most simple task.

We currently see a group of lung specialists from Memphis, TN., and their treatment has consisted of prescribing prednisone, along with 24 hr. oxygen.

My husband had self-employment insurance, which we dropped because his inability to work prevented us from being able to afford the $400.00 monthly premiums. In addition, we found out that the medical payments the company would approve were minimal.

Based on our income, my husband was approved for charity assistance at the Baptist Hospital in Desoto County, MS, which has to be renewed every three months. Lance has not been able to work at all since November, and just started getting S.S. disability payments in May. Still, he will not be eligible for Medicare for two years. Mr.

Sheppard, my husband has worked very hard all of his life to provide for his family. This has been no easy task for a person living in the poorest state of the nation, Mississippi. We feel so helpless in this situation, and having the catastrophic illness he has, with no insurance, adds to that helplessness.

Do you know of any organization, Sir, that would be able to help us finanacially with the double lung transplant that we have been told he will have to have eventually?

I would appreciate any information you might be able to give...


Betty Phillips
New Albany, MS

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