• help@givetaxfree.org

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Hi, my name is Sandi, first thank you for looking at my profile and reading my story. This has taken me a bit of time to write not only because of my issue but also because I’m a person that shy’s away from asking for help. When you read further into my profile, I’m sure you will think how silly I am given what I’ve spent my entire adult life doing. So, let’s get right to it shall we, and again thank you for visiting and considering donating.

I’ve been a first responder, currently a firefighter/EMT, for almost 26 years of my life. It’s been a passion that I planned to advance and retire from because I loved it so much. I love helping people and meeting people from all walks of life, some in yes, their worst of times while others needing more of just more social work type of plan of care, regardless I am happy to help these people and meet whatever their needs may be at that moment may be. I have been told that was meant to do what I do so many times…. that I have a gift. “Helper of mankind,” is the meaning of my name and I believe that I was destined for this life and career. A career in helping people during their worst times & maybe being that one bright light in that dark situation for them.

Back on 3/30/23 I left home for work and told my pups that I would see them in a few hours with the intention of returning in just a couple hours. What was supposed to be a couple hours turned into almost a month to get home. I had to go to work for their required physical agility test. While performing the test, and while almost done, I tripped and fell backwards breaking a bone in my back, injuring my neck, and sustaining a concussion.

To date, because of the fall I have dealt & been dealing with ongoing back & hip pain, sciatic pain, difficulty walking and pain, difficulty bending, dizziness & nausea when leaning over and at times feeling like I’m going to pass out, inability to lift more than 20-25 without experiencing pain, stiffness, mobility issues, difficulty driving, cognitive issues, stuttering, inability to focus & multitask, inability work long periods of time without brain fatigue/headaches/inability to speak (10-15 mins max), mood changes, migraines, memory issues including word recall of items, anxiety, and depression.

I have been going to physical therapy, a neurologist, a trauma/pain therapist, dry needling, and concussion therapy. Now I’m sure you’re going to say, “well you get workers comp, it should all be covered!” No….no it is not. They get to pick and choose what they want to pay for, and it is a fight with them and my employer. I have been fighting & got denied for a treatment that my concussion doctor has recommended months ago and is holding up my care. Concussions these days are considered TBI’s are taken much more seriously than they once were, and for good reason. They denied it based on my neurologist calling it “witchcraft” who behind my back consulted about the therapy along with others such as ortho which is completely out of his scope and his lane. BUT the funny thing is, my concussion Dr told me he refers patients to him all the time, so it almost makes one think that he sides with worker’s comp, so he doesn’t lose their business because he is the only Dr in the area that takes them apparently.

The therapy is called brain remapping & neuro feedback.

Without this treatment my care is delayed and at a continued standstill. I have been waiting MONTHS for their decision on this treatment, a treatment that much larger insurance companies have paid for with this same doctor who even provided them with case studies and all the information they would have needed in regard to its importance related to my care and concussion rehab. Without this, it could prevent me from recovering enough to hold a job and supporting myself and forcing me to apply for disability. No employer will hire me if I have to take constant “cognitive breaks” because my brain can’t handle working or thinking for long periods of time. I also want to go back to school to advance my degree since I cannot work as a firefighter or EMT any longer with my back in the condition it is after this fall and the fracture, but I cannot do that not being able to think or working actively. It gets so bad I can’t even speak that I have to sit in the dark and in silence because I can’t talk. Almost like my brain had a seizure is the way that I can describe it to people because I cannot speak normal sentences without stuttering or being completely incapable entirely.

The other issue is that I didn’t intend to be out of work as long as I have been. When I got hurt, I thought maybe 6 months and I’d be back on the job. Obviously, my back and brain had other plans, more so my brain. Many people think that being on workers comp is a good thing, but it honestly is tough. Especially in a time like today where costs are rising but my pay isn’t, and workers comp isn’t even my full pay. Me being on workers comp I am losing at least $17,000 of my base pay if I didn’t work overtime. That is a huge chunk of someone’s livelihood to be taken away and then expect them to be able to survive on it long-term. I did not have any other insurance plan to help offset the difference and fill the gap. So here I am 15 months later still not back to work, with no real timeline from the doctor in how much longer till I can get back to work either, struggling to make ends meet. I go to food banks for pantry & fridge items. I struggle to pay my electric & water bills, actually, I almost had my electric shut off just this last month because of how high it was and the lack of funds. I’m struggling to pay my rent…. prior to getting hurt wasn’t a big deal.

Please help me raise money for my medical expenses related to my brain (TBI) rehab & help me get back on my feet. My insurance will NOT pay for this. It is not a new treatment, as it has been around since the 70’s. This is something that I would have to pay for monthly that is EXTREMLY expensive at $2000 per month. Besides the Brain remapping & neuro feedback I also would like to get back to the University of Pennsylvania, where I was a patient for pulmonology for many years and allergy, get seen by a new neurologist since my current one isn’t helping me enough control my migraines and seems to have his hand in workers comps pocket than my well-being. In the end I’m just trying to get back some normalcy in my life & to be able to support myself once again like I did. To be able to feel like I have purpose again. If you donate, sincerely thank from the bottom of my heart I appreciate you. I promise that if I get on my feet again to pay it forward to another struggling first responder because there are just not enough services to help us, especially for EMT’s and medics.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!


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