Hello my name is Alisa, I really need your help; I have no idea where to turn. Let me start from the beginning, in August 2011 my husband Don was working for a plumbing company, he had been with this company for 3 yrs, while loading a machine into the back of his van, which he had done on so many occasions something popped in his back, he collapsed to the ground. He was in severe pain and had numbness and tingling in his legs, the paramedics were called because he couldn’t stand. Come to find out he blew out his back so bad he had to have surgery from his S1 to his L3 in his spine, for anyone not knowing what that means think of taking all of his disks out of his lower back and fusing his spine together with 2 ten inch rods with 8 three inch long titanium screws inserted into his spine to hold them together. Don spent one week in the hospital the surgery wouldn’t take place until Worker’s Comp decided when he would have the surgery. Right after his boss found out what kind of surgery he needed his boss fired him over the phone while he was still in the hospital. Being a small company he couldn’t keep Don on because of the lengthy recovery time and he needed a plumber to take Don’s spot. He did what he felt he had to do for his company. Don went through months of paper work and doctor after doctor visit. Worker’s Comp did everything they could to stop from paying for the surgery. We had to secure a lawyer because it was going no where. The doctor for Don was 100 % sure the injury was sustained at the time of the accident. We did receive a lump payout eventually and we caught up bills and paid the lawyer fees but still no surgery on the horizon. In January 2012 I was laid off from my job while all this was going on, adding to our financial burden my income on unemployment was less than ½ of my salary. Things were rough. Because we were receiving Unemployment and Worker’s Comp we weren’t eligible for any help from other sources. When you apply for food stamps or Medicaid they do not take into consideration anything other than utilities and rent or mortgage. So anything else such as loans, gas, repairs, and just daily life doesn’t count. So a few months prior to surgery Don took a job with someone to make ends meet. All he had to do was sit or walk and walking was good exercise prior to surgery per his doctor. The damage was already done so he did what he had to in order for us to survive. It was about 2 and ½ months or less. Again we caught up bills and put money aside to hold us over until he would have surgery and be able to return to work. And he was in pain all this time; unable to take narcotics while working he suffered through the pain. Don finally had his back surgery after all efforts to fight it failed and the courts deemed the surgery would be done. His surgery was in July 2012 almost a year after the injury. This was a major surgery requiring a medical bed at home and a walker etc. and other safety equipment before he could be released from the hospital. Most of this was paid for through Workers Comp. The healing took almost a year and during this time he developed a hernia from the surgery and again Workers Comp didn’t want to pay for this surgery even though it clearly was a result of his back surgery ( they had to go through his stomach and back to do the repairs) the stomach part is what caused the hernia. He couldn’t be cleared for work because of the hernia which was getting bigger and bigger and more painful, doctors were very concerned because typically you don’t have severe pain with a hernia. Finally after they exhausted all of their court efforts he had his hernia repaired in Jan 2013. The mass weighed approximately 1lb and was embedded in his testical so severely doctors thought he would loose his left testical because they had waited so long to repair it. This was a horrible time for us and so unnecessary just because of them trying to fight it. Because it had been embedded so long we had to worry if it had become cancerous so added stress until the biopsy came back negative. So finally he was able to work and things were slowly looking better but we were struggling. Late rent a few times, possible disconnects of utilities and mind you we didn’t have cable or satellite we had let luxuries go. Don received a letter in April of 2014 saying he was being investigated for Bureau of Worker’s Comp Fraud. He had a hearing and asked for mercy but we didn’t realize he should have had an attorney and it didn’t matter because we couldn’t afford to retain one, he explained that we were going to be homeless and he did what he needed to do for his family. We knew it was wrong but desperation takes over and nothing else seems to matter at the time but getting through and taking care of your responsibility. We were waiting to be notified of payment arrangements or what would happen and we hadn’t heard anything in months but they are very slow about things so we just waited figuring they would take our future taxes etc. and we would make payments as well. On Aug 29th while downtown working Don was pulled over and arrested he had no idea why? Finally the police told him he was being charged with a Felony 4 Theft and Workers Comp Fraud. The warrant had been issued on Aug 27th. Don spent 51/2 days in jail. Don was released on an OR Bond on Sept 4th 2014. He has never had a record or been locked up he is a law abiding citizen who made a mistake out of desperation. We do not mind paying what we owe which would be about 10,000 but because of fines and penalties etc they want 43,000 to be paid. Don goes to court on Sept 16, 2014. He is looking at 18 months in a penitentiary and the Felony charge will stay with him unless we can pay the money right away to avoid prosecution. We have had to plan out what my daughter and my grandson and I will do if this happens. I am working now and was just promoted to full time; we will lose what little we have such as our cars and where we live because we will not be able to afford them. We were advised that this is our only hope to try and raise money to help my husband or we have no future... he will lose his job and with a Felony he will never get hired anywhere that will enable us to pay these fines and survive plus he will be imprisoned up to 18 months. Please, if there is anything you may be able to help to keep my husband from going to prison, I would very much appreciate it. Thank you so much for your donation…..
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