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A Christmas Wish for Nefertiti

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Nefertiti - a woman of adventurous spirit

A jazzy, classy lady has fallen through the cracks in our social services and medical systems.

Nefertiti is an active and passionate “wise woman”. In 2005, she trained for and began a cross-country trip on a recumbent bicycle, to celebrate coming into her 60th year.  Shortly into her trip, her cargo carrier and bicycle jack-knifed, throwing her into oncoming traffic and causing a compound fracture of her leg.

She dragged herself to the shoulder. Her bike, still in the middle of the road, fortuitously alerted a trucker who rescued her. Questionable surgery left her leg torqued, crooked, and painful. Her estranged family refused to allow her to convalesce at their home.

She requires a knee replacement, and has some instability in walking. A fall in March fractured her left knee and right elbow. Physical Therapy was started but then revoked due to "system ineligibility". She has no health insurance, and receives only a small Social Security check. She worked at a part-time job to do her best to make payments for her medical care, but she has been placed in collections.

A few weeks ago, Nefertiti had found a place to stay temporarily while she tried to catch up. Among other things, she assisted in painting canvas labyrinths.

Nefertiti painting a canvas labyrinth

On Dec. 2, she lost her balance and fell down a flight of stairs, breaking her hip. She had surgery, and “celebrated” her 63rd birthday in the hospital on Dec. 3rd.

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Her friend, Judy, says that Nefertiti  “is caught in a weird limbo of no-man's land of age and disability; not old enough, didn't have/couldn't afford health insurance, yet too healthy to be considered disabled or indigent (although she is essentially homeless). She has worked very hard to help herself be strong and not be a sickly weakling. The sad thing about the system is that that is working against her now. Sometimes some people just need a bridge-loan, a small crutch for a while til they get back up'n'running. Unfortunately, our system doesn't have such a thing or can't understand that - yet.”

Nefertiti recovering in the hospital on her birthday.

Clearly, this is a person who would benefit from something any civilized nation should offer its citizens: Universal Health Care. And, in return, the community would benefit from a woman like this who shares her insights and joie de vivre with the world, providing an exciting role model for moving into the wisdom years.

I’ve got Kucinich’s Single–Payer, Universal Health Care Plan at the top of my list, maybe Santa will bring it next year.

In the meantime, Judy offers this Christmas Wish List for Nefertiti:

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·         A lawyer who can help her file for bankruptcy, gratis. (Nefertiti had been trying to save up enough money in order to file for bankruptcy, so that she would be able to get help from the government to get into her own assisted-living apartment.) 

·         Suggestions about a social-aid organization, a program, a grant or a charity who can provide some services. Nefertiti is currently in St. Louis.

·         Funds toward purchasing some Physical Therapy

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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