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On the night of Aug. 10, 2005, my car careened off the road while I was trying to avoid a deer. After I collided with a telephone pole, rescue workers in my suburban town struggled to use the Jaws of Life to free me from my car. I was hospitalized for the next nine months while my mangled extremities were reconstructed. The accident resulted in the amputation of my left leg, damage to my right shin and the loss of the flexors in my once-dominant right hand. All four of my extremities sustained neuromuscular injuries, leaving me with temporary mobility comparable to a quadriplegic. My life was changed instantly.
Simply put, I was unable to keep up with the fast-paced curriculum while also dealing with the struggles in my personal life. I was in my mid-20s and six figures in debt. Insolvent, and fearful of being uninsured, I applied for state Medicaid.
This turned out to be the best decision of my life.
Medicaid paid for the entirety of my prosthetic care, including a new microprocessor knee, a new energy storing foot, a carbon fiber custom-made socket, and silicone liners with accessories. It covered the cost of everything at no out-of-pocket expense, and enabled me to live my life.
Medicaid truly saved my life when so many other “helping” resources continued to let me use failing technology.
I find it appalling that the only way I was able to become a complete human being was by becoming destitute.
I am a human being who has desires far beyond being a needy member of society.
I would like to have a fulfilling career and a family. I do not want to remain on medical assistance. Yet, a Department of Veterans Affairs study showed the average lifetime cost for prosthetics and medical care for loss of a single leg for a veteran of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars is more than $1.4 million. With private insurance unwilling to cover these costs, it’s highly unlikely I will be able to support myself, much less my future family.