Thursday, October 30, 2008

Walking on Water (4)

The problem with bone marrow transplants was the expense. Derek had done his home work. Between doctor and hospital fees he would need about one hundred thousand dollars. Simple..he thought...Jason had good insurance. But ofcourse given the experimental nature of the procedure his insurance categorically denied the request stating the lack of evidence.

So Derek again braced for war. Again he consulted the experts. He had Jason's oncologist write a letter to the insurer. He wote a number of personal letters documenting Jason's struggle and emphasizing that he surely would die without drastic action.

In the meantime he went to religous organizations, the local media, and even the AMA. Anyone who could help was welcomed. He set up a fund at their local bank for donations and Sara helped put together a web site. After a month they had collected twenty five thousand dollars. Not enough....but a start!

The insurane company finally relented and invited Derek to personally present Jason's case to a board of adjucators. As he packed up his materials that morning, he felt mildly optimistic. He had not come this far to fail. He had thirty minutes to win over the hearts and minds of the insurance comany representatives.

Derek's presentation was the perfect mix of science and emotion. He blended the hard data with the soft picture of Jason, his mentally ill mother, and his struggling father. He ended with a short video of Jason himself pleading the case. The jury of ten men and women were visibley shaken. A number of them had tears in their eyes. As Derek left the room to allow them to deliberate he felt he had reasonable odds.

Fifteen minutes later he was summoned back to the small room. It was decided that the insurance company would not cover the transplant given its experimental nature. However, Jason's case would be sent for review to the charitable branch of the company which may consider donating to the cause.

Derek's sadness and dissapointemnt were brief.....the next day he recieved a check for the remaining seventy five thousand dollars.

Looking back, Derek would remember this as the highpoint of his struggle. He had walked on water. He had accomplished the impossible.. That night he picked up Sarah and Jason from the hospital. They went out for pizza. It was one of Jason's good days.

Jason eventually recieved the bone marrow transplant.

When it failed to eradicate the cancer he was enrolled in hospice.

He died a month later at home with Derek and Sarah at his bedside.

3 comments:

tracy said...

Sad, so sad. i often wonder which is worse...mental illness or physical illness. Your story touched on both. Physical illness is a dying hell and mental illness is a living hell.
Reminds me of an episode of "MASH" in which the psychiatrist, Dr. Freedman says, something like "When you lose a patient, his suffering is over. When i lose a patient, i lose a mind." And Father Mulchahy says "When i lose someone, i've lost a soul. I guess it all depends on how you look at it".

Thank you for another piece of amazing, beautiful writing.
Kindest regards, tracy

tracy said...

Hi. i just had to write something because your word verification letters spell "tumor"...how weird is that?

Have a blessed day.

Jordan said...

strange!