Ten years ago I suffered a terrible fall in the garage of my home. My left
leg got caught between two large, heavy boxes and I fell. Unfortunately, my
foot stayed in between the boxes and I broke my left tibia (the big bone)
right above my left ankle. Instead of my left foot being at a 12 o’clock
position it was now 90 degrees to the left at the 9 o’clock position and I
was in severe pain.
My kids called 911; I was rushed to the local hospital by ambulance, The
orthopedic doctor on call (lets call him Dr. Quack) was from a foreign
country and he assured me that he could take care of me. He told my wife
that I would be operated on in the morning; she left and then he rushed me
into surgery shortly after midnight.
He operated and I awoke the next morning still in pain with my wife
wondering what happened. Dr. Quack told us I would be good as new in a
couple of months. However, the pain was still unbearable so I began a daily
regiment of Vicodin to dull the pain. I tried to resume work as an Internet
Sale Manager but I was unable to go out on appointments and I could not
conduct business over the phone. I was also sleeping most of the day due to
the pain killers. Reluctantly I went out on disability.
Nearly one year later in April of 2002, the leg was still not healed. I
could not put any weight on it and my foot was hanging loosely from my leg
supported only by the muscles and ligaments. There was “failure to union’
of the bone. Dr Quack blamed me for the problem, saying I was putting too
much weight on it.
Then in May of 2002, the company I was working for went out of business and
declared bankruptcy. I lost my health insurance. However, I was able to get
insurance through my church by being added to their HMO policy for their
preschool employees. However, Dr. Quack was not part of the HMO network.
When the HMO doctors looked at the new X-rays of my leg, they were aghast!
Dr. Quack had used a fixation method to repair the bone which had not been
exclusively used since the 1890s! I was immediately scheduled for another
surgery and in September 2002, my leg was properly repaired with a rod,
plate and several screws. However, since Dr. Quack’s surgery was so bad, I
lost almost an inch of bone in that leg so that the new surgery could fuse
the bone. Dr. Quack also tore away the muscle from the bone, permanently
damaging the muscle structure of the lower leg.
As a result of Dr. Quacks botch job, I cannot move my foot laterally, I have
little movement vertically and even after 10 years, I am in constant pain. I
have become dependent on pain killers and I was on Oxycotin, but now have
been switched to Morphine and Vicodin that I take on a daily basis to try to
control the pain.
I sued Dr. Quack and in the process of discovery, my lawyer found out that
he had 18 other lawsuits, several judgments against him and a patient who
died while under his care after a surgery to repair an foot! I won a small
settlement which was enough for my family to move into a larger rental home.
The sole source of my funds is now Social Security disability income along
term disability payment from my former employer. My wife has not worked
while our children were young, Our youngest is now 12 and after being a
homemaker for 25 years, she is taking Adult School classes in Computer
skills so she can try to get a job.
Meanwhile, we have been trying to assist our two older children with their
college expenses when possible, but they have had to pay for most of it
themselves. We have accumulated massive credit card debt to the level of
approximately $26,000. but we still have not been able to afford health
insurance for my wife or younger daughter.
We do not live extravagantly. My wife’s car is a 1994 Volvo with over
200,000 miles on it that we bought from my son after her 1997 mini van blew
a head gasket. I drive a 1989 Ford Bronco II with 255,000 miles. My
daughter’s 1991 BMW also blew a head gasket and it is also sitting in the
yard waiting to be repaired while she drives an old Buick given to her by a
friend of the family.
Then last year my wife had a heart fibrillation which was dealt with at the
local Emergency Room. However, it occurred again in July of this year and
she was in the hospital for nearly a week and we now have over $30,000 in
hospital bills we cannot pay.
The final blow to my self esteem and my financial world occurred when I
learned that for some strange reason, the IRS decided that my disability
income was taxable and now they are demanding $70,000 in back taxes and
My 12 year old daughter has never been to the dentist. We desperately need
to get her there because she has several impacted adult teeth growing in
improperly and she will need braces.
Our 6 year old dog has developed a massive lump on the side of her face and
we cannot afford to go to the vet to determine what it is.
I am pleading for financial help so I can do the following: hire a tax
specialist who can assist me in dealing with the IRS; pay the hospital bills
that I owe, and pay off the credit cards that we owe, get my daughter to a
dentist, and catch up on our rent as we are one month behind and have been
since earlier this year. My wife and I have a dream of also being able to
buy a small home so we can eventually stop renting. I realize that this is
far off in the future.
I am involved with my local church and I sing and play guitar for worship.
God has been good to me in that I still have my health, I have three
wonderful children and a supportive, understanding wife and I have hope for
the future of my family. Thank you for reading my story and God Bless You
and your family.