Donna at the Lighthouse shelter in Bucyrus, Ohio
Originally uploaded by walk4healthcare
Donna is the director of the Lighthouse homeless shelter (where I had stayed, while in Bucyrus). It was a nice, clean place which, as she told me, “helps people when their most in need. The men here have gotta be clean of drugs, no criminal history, but they’re otherwise down-and-out.”
Her husband, 73 years old, is now on Medicare/SSI and had a complicated cardiac condition. He suffered a heart attack during a cath procedure and was taken by air ambulance to Columbus. He had a quadruple bypass and they ended up with $250,000 in medical bills. Medicare went to 80%. They lost all their retirement in the stock market and now survive only on Social Security. They are filing for bankruptcy. “The angel of the poor has, apparently, become poor herself because of our healthcare system.”
In terms of herself, Donna has no health insurance. She’s got atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm abnormality) as well as diabetes and she pays for medicines out-of-pocket. But, thinking always of those less fortunate than her, she knows of many people all around who do without their medications because they can’t afford them.