Help Generations to Come – Joan’s StoryPosted: April 23, 2012
By the time she addressed the lump in her breast, Joan learned that she had stage 4 breast cancer – with no health insurance. Adding one more monthly payment proved far too difficult when raising her two granddaughters alone. Joan did without, so that the girls wouldn’t have to.
Joan endured a lifetime of hard work cleaning other people’s homes and was resolute to pay her bills, tend to her own immaculate home, cheer at her girls’ soccer games, run their carpools and save a bit for a rainy day. Yet, even the best intentions did not prepare her for dying.
A family friend suggested they contact Samaritan, knowing we do not turn any patient away regardless of their ability to pay. Their plight did not fall on deaf ears and Samaritan’s team arrived within hours to manage the crisis with immediate medical care, intensive pain management, family counseling, and vital equipment.
Joan’s tumor had become an open wound requiring specialty care and intensive pain management. A knowledgeable and supportive team of experts relieved Joan’s 14 year old granddaughter from her care giving tasks, as no child should ever be burdened with wound care or the bathing of a cherished elder.
A Samaritan social worker arrived to help the family walk through the emotional and legal issues facing this family in crisis. The care and well-being of the two young girls proved paramount, as there were hard questions to be answered and emotions tangled with fear and anger.
Joan’s family knew she was dying and unsure of what life would look like without their champion. The social worker spent hours listening and guiding two young ladies into a new world without a mother and without a grandmother. It was a long and emotional process for all.
Samaritan embraced this family providing expert, comforting care and sorting out the knotted ball of fear, pain, anger and impending loss. As the days turned into weeks, Joan arrived at our inpatient center surrounded by her family. A funeral home accepted a payment plan, flowers were donated, guardians appointed, and Joan gratefully welcomed a peaceful heart.
Now more than ever, Samaritan needs your support, so we can continue to honor our pledge of never turning any family away, regardless of their ability to pay. In 2011, 49.9 million Americans had no health care coverage and New Jersey’s uninsured rose to an all-time high of over 14%. This equates to over 1 in 10 of your family members, friends or neighbors, most gainfully employed, have no medical insurance.
Samaritan is acutely aware of our responsibility and stands ready – thanks to people like you – to provide our continuum of life enhancing services for all generations to come; however, with the critical changes in healthcare reform we can only do so with your help. Please give generously to the Samaritan Fund to ensure support for families like Joan’s when they need care most.