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Helping a Friend
(Letter from John Townsend)
Note: The following letter from John Townsend was just received and speaks for itself. Many of us have known the Austins for decades, and are witnesses to many instances and occasions when Garry has been among the first to help out when difficult situations arise. I don't believe he could ever imagine being in the position he's in right now. As follows:
This is an appeal for financial help.
As many of you know, our colleague Garry Austin of Wilmington, Vermont suffered a subdural hematoma last September. It was not a stroke, but it did cause major brain damage. For two weeks, Garry lay unconscious at Albany Medical Center in New York. After six weeks he was transferred to Southern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington where he remains.
Garry cannot yet walk or speak more than a few words. Nor can he read or write. Medicare stopped coverage because of his failure to respond to therapy. Several caring nurses try to help him get up and sit in a chair, and his wife, Karen, has been trying to assume the role of speech therapist.
Garry has Myelodysplastic Syndrome, or MDS, which is a form of blood cancer due to a failure of the bone marrow to produce healthy cells. The MDS he has is considered “high risk” to progress to leukemia. He is also at high risk for bleeding and infection. (The bleeding is what caused his subdural hematoma.) He needs a heart bypass and his hips have both failed. No formal prognosis has been given to Karen as yet.
Karen has been at his side constantly. She continues to manage the business as well as she can, all while dealing with Medicare, Medicaid, his doctors and her own life outside the hospital. Although Medicare payments have stopped, Karen’s application with Medicaid has, as of Monday, been accepted. This should cover Garry’s stay at the facility in Bennington.
Karen is extremely grateful for the many contributions she has received from friends, colleagues and organizations such as the Lions Club and others. But those funds are now gone. January’s mortgage and life insurance payments are due, and several home repairs are needed. There’s more, but I know you have the picture.
Please consider donating to Karen to help her through this terrible time. I suggest using PayPal, sending funds to her account: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make the transfer under PayPal’s Family/Friends option so that she can avoid paying any charges to PayPal. Also, please send a message with the donation, indicating that it is a gift. That makes it clear to any taxing authority that it is not payment for a book. For those who do not have a PayPal account you can send a check made out to Karen Austin and mail it to her at P.O. Box 730, Wilmington, VT 05363. You might also consider helping us spread the word by adding a note to your Facebook page.
With Cynthia Gibson’s help, and to employ "Social Media", we have started a FundRazer campaign which you can find at the following link: https://fundrazr.com/e1Rev9?ref=ab_f7oNsc. A direct contribution to Karen via PayPal would be best as FundRazer will take a modest fee for their involvement.
Finally, if you have suggestions for Karen relating to the business, or questions that I can answer, please feel free to contact me.
Thank you so much.