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Finding a pro bono Surgeon for chronic debilitating back injury

I am in desparate need of back surgery. I wen to the emergency room where they found several ruptured disks,herniated disks, buldging disks alond with an extreme amount of scar tissue from two previous laminectopmies. Also found were:
several disks have completely colapsed upon each other, an extreme narrowing of the nerve canal to the point of my nerve being almost severed. The daily pain in indecsribable. I take pain meds, but, franklt, they don't do much. I am at the point of suicide because I can't take the pain much more. I have applied for medicaid and am about 3/4 of the way through. The last stumbling lock is they need a surgeon to say yes, I am disabled at this time, and yes I need surgury. But I can't find any surgeon who will see me without insurance, and I am low income and cannot aford to pay. I live in Roseville, Michigan. If anyone can help me I would be very grateful. I am racing with time before I get to the point where I can't take it anymore and leave my husband a widower and my children motherless. Please help me.....
Debra A. Backos-Ladd


  • I can't even imagine how terrifying it must be to be in your situation. I am so sorry for everything that's going on.

    Have you tried contacting any local charities that could possibly help, either with funding the surgery or assisting with finding a surgeon who would be willing to do it pro bono? Have you contacted the hospital? Do you have any friends or family with connections who could organize a fundraiser to raise the money? There has got to be somebody who can help. If I were you I would start by drafting a letter and sending it to every ortho and neurosurgeon in a 200 mile radius, pleading your case. Best case scenario, one of them takes you on. Worst case scenario, you are no worse off than you are if you do nothing. If nothing else, one Of them might be able to point you in the direction of an organization that can help.

    Hang in there and don't give up!!!
    L5-S1 Fusion, Discectomy on 7/10/12
    Herniated Discs at L3-L4-L5-S1, Spondylosis, Spondylolethesis at L5, DDD, Partial CES, Lumbar Facet Arthropathy
    Chronic back pain since 12/2010 (slip and fall on ice)
  • If its just a consult that you need, many offices will arrange a payment plan. They would allow you to pay a chunk up frOnt and then make monthly payments. My injury happened at work, and workers comp is notorious for dragging out EVERYTHING! So many times I've had to pay out of pocket for consults or procedures because I didn't feel like waiting six months for a hearing when workers comp denied it, and then I would submit my receipts and get reimbursed later. My first surgical consult was $498, but I only paid $250 at the appointment and then paid the rest later. So maybe if you could swing like $50 up front and then make monthly Installments of like $20, they could work with you? Just a thought.
    L5-S1 Fusion, Discectomy on 7/10/12
    Herniated Discs at L3-L4-L5-S1, Spondylosis, Spondylolethesis at L5, DDD, Partial CES, Lumbar Facet Arthropathy
    Chronic back pain since 12/2010 (slip and fall on ice)
  • RickilalasRRickilalas Posts: 559
    edited 10/05/2012 - 8:31 PM
    Have you tried any teaching hospitals, University Hospitals do more for free or less then public and for profit.
    County hospitals will help with most and help on getting paper work done for aide. I would at the least try another ER
    And make sure they understand your future doesn't look very good without some pain relief while waiting

    Good luck
  • That this is happening to you. I empathize very much. I had to start the process of my second surgery without insurance.

    First thing I'd do is apply for financial aid at all the good hospitals near you if you haven't already. As for a neuro or orthopedic surgeon I'd call around and ask what their policy is for those without insurance. My surgeon charged a flat fee of $150 for a consult. As well, ask what their policy is for those without insurance for surgery...if they arrange payment plans. They usually would charge about half of what they bill insurance companies and allow some sort of payment plan whether through Care Credit, which is a company who will pay it and then you make monthly payments, or a payment plan of their own.

    When you say you are 3/4 of the way through for Medicaid, how soon will it be put through? I ask because it most likely would take about a month to get into a neuro as a new patient and once a surgery is decided another month to have a surgery date. So in that time, would your Medicaid be processed?

    Hope this helps you think of some ideas. My heart breaks for you.
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