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I have a cousin that had a twisted bowel that required emergency surgery in Oct 2010. He lives in Nevade, I live in Colorado. Due to the issues that arose during the surgery, massive complications occured. He was in ICU for months during which time he was put on dialysis (due to surgery complications), he had part of his right foot amputated due to blood circulation being kept from it for too long, and many other medical issues as well. He was in the hospital for over 6 months, lost his job, his medical bills were over $1.5 million so he lost his insurance, and the list goes on. His wife's job allowed her to put him on her insurance and he bought what I believe is called Cobra insurance - which is required that you can get insurance after loosing your job but is quite expensive. Since being released from the hospital, he lost the majority of his eye sight, which was just addressed surgically and he can see again - somewhat, some procedure they did when he went back into the hospital cause his 'good' leg to become paralized,
so he is completely unable to do anything for himself. He developed a kidney infection that has 2 tubes coming out of his back - one from each kidney, and the medical issues are far beyond what I have described. They have just amputated more of the right foot and hope they have done all they have to as far as amputating - he has a 'metal halo' around the area they just amputated. He requires 24 hr care since the bags he wears for his bowels are changed betwen every 20 minutes and an hour - depending on if he eats anything. Nothing he eats is digested - it goes straight thru the stomach and after a short area of the intestines into the bag he wears. He is at home with his grown son now not working but caring for him in the day, his married daughter takes the evening and his wife the night shift. Though the doctors/hospitals try and make them agree to put him in a nursing home everytime he goes into the hospital, which is frequesntly with kidney infections, etc, the family fights to care for him at home. Besides believing it is for his best in care-giving and in emotional health - which is a constant and great issue fighting depression, I doubt they could afford it without loosing their house which they have managed to keep with extended family financial help. This financial help is putting a burden on the extended family now after 14 months.
I say all this to ask if there is a way to set up some kind of charitable giving on-line where they can get financial help from people willing to help? It is not just for medical expenses, but for living expenses as well. Are there issues that would need to be addresses, other than maybe taxes, that would limit how the money could be used? Is there resourses that you can suggest us to investigate along these lines that would help us know the laws, limitations and how to set this up legally. There is little financial help available to pay lawyers for this, but if there are fees required for you to give guidance for this please advise and I will see if we can afford it.
Thank you so much for your time and willingness to read and offer any suggestions.
Sincerely, Cj Reichard


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