Norma Needs Your HelpPosted: August 9, 2014
Norma Elaine Durrant needs your help with her mounting medical costs due to a serious neurological illness.
In May this year, Norma Elaine was finishing up her time in Kingston Jamaica. She was about to fly back to the States, but needed to stay just a few weeks more in order to attend an awards ceremony, where she would receive the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for her long service in education to the island nation.
At the end of May, Norma Elaine began to complain about symptoms of dizziness, nausea, numbness and unusual sensations in her head. On June 1, her daughter (my wife) flew down to Kingston, Jamaica,to accompany her back to the States so that she could see her doctor. When her daughter arrived in Kingston, she observed what she believed to be the beginning signs of a stroke and immediately took Norma to the hospital where her condition quickly deteriorated. She was admitted to the Critical Care Unit at University Hospital (UHWI). She began to lose muscle control on one side of her face and body which caused her to be bed ridden in Jamaica for a total of 6 weeks. She could not swallow on her own and had to be fed via feeding tube. She contracted hospital borne pneumonia and aspiration pneumonia during her stay. After 4 weeks in Critical Care she was transferred to Medial Associates where we were encouraged to seek special evaluation in the States because her tests did not conclusively confirm that her symptoms were the result of a stroke.
It was at this stage that we began to look into getting her to NY via air ambulance.
The air transport alone would cost 23K and the insurance company would not pay for it up front. She could not fly on a commercial flight as she could not swallow and would need oxygen throughout the flight. Therefore the transfer costs fell on the family.
Norma was finally transferred to NY Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn and has spent the past two weeks improving dramatically. But here, as in Jamaica, after several tests(MRI, CT Scan, x-ray, ultrasound, etc), doctors still could not confirm a stroke. However, based on her symptoms, they still recommended agressive nuero rehab. She is now at The Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn where she will receive the treatment she needs.
As you can imagine, entering the US Healthcare system with any kind of insurance is still expensive. Many of the copay costs, the air transport and other services fall immediately on the patient, and over time add up to tens of thousands of dollars. We are asking family, friends, neighbors, fellow church members and good samaritans to help Norma in her recovery and post recovery. She has spent her life in service of others. Please help her return to a normal life as soon as possible.