Archive for Friday, December 26, 2008

Cancer patient slipping through cracks

Patty Truex works full-time for Assist LLC but the job doesn't pay her enough to cover some of the health care costs she faces. She was recently diagnosed with cancer. In the meantime, she spends her days helping Debbie Fulks (left) who suffers from emphysema and fibromyalgia.

Patty Truex works full-time for Assist LLC but the job doesn't pay her enough to cover some of the health care costs she faces. She was recently diagnosed with cancer. In the meantime, she spends her days helping Debbie Fulks (left) who suffers from emphysema and fibromyalgia.

December 26, 2008

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Correction

After this article was originally published, the Journal-World learned that Patty Truex does not have cancer, according to Dr. Kathy Gaumer, her physician. Truex is being treated for proliferative endometrium with possible hyperplasia and possible endometrial polyp. Hyperplasia is considered a pre-cancerous lesion, according to Gaumer. This condition can be treated with medication as well as surgery.

How to help Patty Truex

A few people have come forward to help Patty Truex raise money for a down payment on a hysterectomy.

A fund is being set up at Bank of the West, 4114 W. Sixth St. The bank’s number is 841-7311.

The fund is called Patty’s Cancer Fund.

Three months ago, a 43-year-old Lawrence woman was told that she needed to have surgery to remove her right ovary and uterus. She also was told that the blood in her uterus was forming cancer cells.

She is still awaiting treatment.

•••

On a recent morning, Patty Truex sobbed and wiped away tears with a tissue as she described her situation.

For the past three years, she has been homeless and living with friends. She keeps her clothes and personal belongings in her car.

Patty makes $9.25 an hour working for Lawrence-based Assist LLC, which provides services for the disabled. She takes on as many hours as possible and has reduced her debt from about $10,000 to $5,000. She can’t move into a new place until she pays off the utility bills that she still owes.

She says she can’t afford private health insurance.

“It’s not offered in this kind of work,” Patty said. “If I gave them $200 out of my check every payday, I wouldn’t have anything to live on.”

She went to Health Care Access, which provides primary health care services for the uninsured in Douglas County, when her right ovary was causing excruciating pain and her menstrual cycle was highly erratic.

She said she was referred to Dr. Kathy Gaumer, of Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, who provided the first visit for free. After the visit, Patty received a call from a nurse who said she needed to pay $900 before they would perform a hysterectomy. She also was notified about the cancer and that she needed further testing.

Patty said she couldn’t afford that, so she sought help elsewhere. But her search has been frustrating. She has been told that she makes too much money to be eligible for low-income assistance. Some have offered help, but at an even steeper payment price.

Although they can’t help her financially, she is thankful for the support and services that Health Care Access and the American Cancer Society are providing.

“So many people fall through the cracks,” said Sally Zogry, development assistant and volunteer coordinator at Health Care Access. “They make too much to get any government services and then they don’t make enough to afford the benefits that they are offered. Or they work in jobs where health benefits are not offered and they certainly can’t afford to have private insurance. They have nowhere to go. They have no recourse.”

•••

Bill Marting, vice president of financial operations at Kansas University Hospital, said there is no industry standard when it comes to charity care and financial assistance. It varies from building to building and doctor to doctor.

At KU Hospital, someone would qualify for discounted services or a write-off if they made 200 percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines. For a one-person household, that would be $20,000. Marting said there is some level of assistance for people who make up to 400 percent of the guidelines.

KU Hospital also offers financial assistance for patients who have bills that far outweigh their income.

“So if you make $90,000 a year and you have a bill for $2 million, then you are going to have the ability to access our financial assistance programs as well,” Marting said.

If patients get into a situation where they are in dire need of health care and can’t afford a payment, Marting said, persistence can pay off. Often a hospital seeks a payment plan to maintain financial viability and to find out a person’s financial resources. But it’s not a “hard stop.”

Dennis McCulloch, a hospital spokesman, added, “You’ve just got to keep asking the question and keep being very forthcoming about your situation. Hospital financial people are very talented people, but they are not mind readers.”

Debra West, director of Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, said assistance and payment plans are offered on a case-by-case basis in her office.

“If a patient is unable to meet the guidelines that we have set, then they usually come talk to me, and we look at the case individually and between the physician and myself see what we can do to work with the patient,” West said.

Patty, however, said she was willing to work out a payment plan.

When patients can’t find help, they often end up in a hospital emergency room where health care can’t be denied. That’s what Patty is hoping to avoid.

•••

Patty says her situation is getting worse.

“I feel like I am 78 years old,” she said while dusting furniture. “This is a workout.”

Patty was cleaning for Debbie Fulks, 46, who receives assistance through Assist LLC. Patty and Fulks were matched up through the company three years ago.

Fulks has fibromyalgia, a muscle disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder; and emphysema, which requires oxygen at night. She has had OCD since she was a little girl and the disorder causes her to do things that she doesn’t remember. For instance, she hides things, such as silverware and jewelry, in the house. Patty also has found Fulks sleeping outside in the yard with a blanket.

“She has got a hard job and I give her credit for hanging in there because I do things in my sleep that I don’t know I am doing. She has to tolerate my crazy mind,” Fulks said.

She added, “There’s nothing that she doesn’t do for me.”

Patty cleans the house, cooks, takes care of Fulks’ personal hygiene, manages her money and medications, runs errands and buys groceries. If it weren’t for Patty’s care, Fulks said, she would be in a nursing home.

“There are days when I can hardly get up off the couch. There are days she has to get me up out of the bed,” Fulks said.

Neither of them has close family in the area, so they have leaned on each other through tough times. Fulks often provides Patty with a warm place to spend the night.

Fulks said it hasn’t been easy to watch her friend and caregiver suffer.

“She was always friendly and happy-go-lucky and now she is bawling or in bed or jumping down somebody’s throat. In her position, I can see why,” Fulks said. “I just can’t believe that a doctor is saying until I have $800 or $900 in my pocket, I am not doing your surgery, but you do have cancer.”

Fulks said she lost three aunts and her mother to cancer.

Tears formed in her eyes and she took a deep breath before saying, “I can’t lose Patty.”

Comments

lawrencechick 6 years, 7 months ago

Wow, two packs of cigarettes on the couch when someone is "suffering" from emphysema and probably financial difficulites as well.

fonz73 6 years, 7 months ago

I wish Ms. Truex a speedy recovery and hope she gets all the help she needs.But just a quick bit of advice: when you're having your photo taken for a personal exclusive story regarding your fight with cancer, it would probably be wise NOT to be photographed with a pack of cigarettes and a loaded ashtray. Especially when you are taking care of someone who has emphysema.I'm not a hater...just sayin'. Marlboro Reds rule. Swear by 'em cough

number1jayhawker 6 years, 7 months ago

Just think how tough it would be for her to have surgery if we had "national" health care. Since she smokes and is overweight, she would be placed way at the bottom of the list to have the surgery. And if you don't believe me, then ask my friends and business associates in Canada.

cowboy 6 years, 7 months ago

yeah the pic does nothing to create empathy...but the story is pretty illustrative of why Health Care Access is not the answer for Lawrence. While you can go to the ER for acute care , and you can pay a high cost for an office visit to one of the prompt care type clinics , to get specialized follow up care for a condition or injury is going to be tough. The specialists / surgeons are not tied to the limited options in Lawrence. I don't have the answers but know that it is a problem for the US citizens who don't have health care coverage. That number was somewhere close to 50 million folks a couple years ago and I'm sure with the economy it has grown. thee needs to be a national heath care option of some sort.

Sam_Manilla 6 years, 7 months ago

This article is looking for a generous donor who can give money to the hot looking little rich doctor.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 7 months ago

"And if you don't believe me, then ask my friends and business associates in Canada."OK, who are they?

ridinthefence 6 years, 7 months ago

Dr. Gaumer is a wonderful doctor with a great respect for women and their needs. Shame on JW for targeting her as the doctor that wouldnt help. Obesity and cigarettes bring on a multitude of health problems. People need to take responsibility for their well being. What is the price of a pack of cigarettes these days? I havent been paying attention.

BigPrune 6 years, 7 months ago

Note to self: If you are in a public position, it always pays to advertise in the local newspaper.

youarenotmyproblem 6 years, 7 months ago

Doesn't on the "right" means she is sitting in the chair and the cigs belong to her patient?My question is why should I have to contribute to her medical expenses, because she will eventually get help, with my tax dollars and me (we) paying higher medical costs to support her because she is in debt? Doesn't that ultimately mean I (we) are paying her debt? 9.25 an hour is a livable wage when you spend right. It is not my problem she is in debt and cannot afford medical insurance.

Strontius 6 years, 7 months ago

People need to know that nationalized healthcare is already here. Lets say that Patty here walks into an emergency room a few days before her cancer kills her. Her internal organs are failing, she needs antibiotics, and constant attention because she's basically dying slowly. This continues for three days, over which time doctors perform several emergency procedures that have almost no chance of success, but legally and professionally, they have to make even the smallest attempt to, at a minimum, extend her life. Of course, it's all in vain. Three days later, she dies. The hospital has bills in excess of $60,000 for all the procedures and personnel involved in her treatment. Who pays these bills? The tax payers. That's right. We all get the bill because overweight, chain smoking patty contracted cancer due to her inability to live a moderately healthy lifestyle. Is this not nationalized health care, or at least, its primary feature? Unfortunately, it's nationalized heathcare at its worse. We treat the symptoms and not the causes, and whether or not you are healthy, it effects everyone. Health insurance is ridiculously expensive in the U.S. because of people like the ones above, and when they are on their deathbeds, healthy people get to foot the bill for their irresponsible lifestyle. I don't pretend to know the answer to this problem, but it seems to me that Canada and most of Western Europe have a pretty good thing going. Hell, even Cuba has a great healthcare system. Surely we can do better if we tried. Just some food for thought.

lawthing 6 years, 7 months ago

I believe the way the article reads:The cigarettes belong to the woman she is working for. As a caretaker, you really cannot tell the other person how to live. I know when I help people in need and I know they smoke, I wonder if the money is really going to help the kids, or if the money will just help feed the smoking habit.

BigPrune 6 years, 7 months ago

Why should we contribute to a bunch of banks that have been screwing the consumers for years with low introductory interest rate credit cards then increased interest rates at will? Aren't we essentially paying their debt while we still have to pay our debt?

Leslie Swearingen 6 years, 7 months ago

There is nothing that can be done about this. People will be who they will be. I get SSI and I know I can make it to the end of the month and have the things I need. How do I pull off this miracle. I budget, I pay my bills first, I buy what I need not what I want. I have gotten a lot of help from people along the way to be where I am now, and I thank God for every one of them. "She said she was referred to Dr. Kathy Gaumer, of Lawrence OB-GYN Specialists, who provided the first visit for free. After the visit, Patty received a call from a nurse who said she needed to pay $900 before they would perform a hysterectomy. She also was notified about the cancer and that she needed further testing."This makes me think that the procedure was considered elective, otherwise the doctor is sitting back and letting the woman die. Or she is trying to drum up business by scaring her patient. I don't know. Dr. Gaumer might very well be one of the best doctors in Lawrence. I just think with something as serious as cancer, it would be taken care of. I hope that when Obama gets in, things will change and people will get the medical help they need when they are seriously ill. I am overweight and don't have a problem with it so I wish people would stop harping on that issue.

ursulabirtha 6 years, 7 months ago

I think that the situation is unfortunate and I do not have the answers, however I work with Dr.Gaumer and she is my OB/GYN, she is caring and professional. She is an excellent OB and treats all her patients very well. Oh and Sam_Manilla, you're right she is a hottie.Dr. Gaumer ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

geekin_topekan 6 years, 7 months ago

It would appear the Marlboros are setting next to the emphysema patient.I am guessing that they are hers.However,the fags in the cool leather carry pouch?My experience with smokers is that they keep them as close and accessable as they can without smashing them.so...

greenworld 6 years, 7 months ago

Well after reading all of this I have come to the conclusion that in order to get something in the US that you have to outsmart people to get what you want. Since they want money that she doesnt have in order to do surgery she will have to fake a serious stomach pain for 24 hrs and then go to the ER and dont look back. The ER cannot refuse anybody and if she stays in there long enough and cries about it they will eventually admit her. WIth that said they cannot discharge her until the problem is fixed. Yes she will have one hell of a bill to LMH for the treatment and surgery but if her insides are bleeding like she says they are then they have to do surgery and cant let her go in that situation. It's amazing you have to fake things to get what you want. It's unfortuate that all the people in that certain income bracket get the shaft but she should have thought about that 20 yrs ago when getting an eduacation was the first part of growing up. Another case of one) she became homeless because of everybody else or was it the choices she made along the way and two) if she makes to much money then she needs to quit her job and then she will qualify for something. She says paying these people doesnt give her that much to live on. Well she is already living homeless out of her car so why would she get greedy at this point in time. Here is the scenario your life is at risk or you start giving up all your money to save it or you become non-income bound and the medical people will save you then. This isnt rocket science here folks.

Buggie7 6 years, 7 months ago

Dr Gaumer and the other doctors in that office are wonderful doctors. However this article is true and Dr Gaumer may not know. I had to have a hysterectomy from having a tumor in my uterus as well and they would not do it until I found some insurance to cover it. They would not discuss payment plan with me at all. The only payment they would except is paid in full.

KansasPerson 6 years, 7 months ago

"Patty Truex takes the trash out as part work she does full-time for Assist LLC but the job doesn't pay her enough to cover some of the health care costs she faces."Wow, what a well-constructed sentence. rolls eyes

youarenotmyproblem 6 years, 7 months ago

Why target the doc at all? I don't go to work for free and I don't expect someone else too either. I do my volunteer work outside of the office.

Strontius 6 years, 7 months ago

"Hmm..do Priests, nuns, and ministers get health care coverage?"I know they do in the Catholic Church. I don't about others.One wonders why someone like Patty couldn't ask the a church for money. I mean, Christians are specifically ordered to give people anything asked of them.

Leslie Swearingen 6 years, 7 months ago

Incredible as it may seem, St. John the Evangelist has a budget and tries to keep within that. All the money the church has to help others in need comes from the money that people put in the baskets at mass. There are not good fairies that are flooding St. Johns with cash. Also the Rummage House provides some money, as well as the Fiesta which does good every year. Christians are not ordered to give people anything asked of them. We do have to be a little reasonable here. Why did the Journal World run this story and then put in a picture that shows both women in the worst possible light?

ursulabirtha 6 years, 7 months ago

I thought it was really nice that Dr.Gaumer gave her a free consultation, not very many doctors would do this. Honestly why would some of you expect Dr.Gaumer, or any other doctor to do it for free???? Our healthcare system is really screwed up but it is not Dr. Gaumers obligation to provide free services to this woman, and if she would do everything for free...where would it stop??? I do not provide my skills for free...I have financial obligations and I am sure that Dr.Gaumer does too.... and so what if Dr.Gaumer is rich, she works her butt off and and her financial situation is a result of hard work.

Strontius 6 years, 7 months ago

"Christians are not ordered to give people anything asked of them. We do have to be a little reasonable here."So, how exactly is someone supposed to read this:"Give to everyone that asketh thee; and from him that taketh away thy goods ask not again."(Luke 6:30; Matt 5:42). In other words, if you are a Christian, Jesus commands you to give anything to anyone if they ask for it. And on top of that, you shouldn't try to get it back. This seems pretty direct, and it's from Jesus, at least if you believe the Bible...

Strontius 6 years, 7 months ago

And in case you want other translations of that line in other Bibles:International Standard Version (©2008)Keep on giving to everyone who asks you for something, and if anyone takes what is yours, do not insist on getting it back.New American Standard Bible (©1995)"Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)Give to everyone who asks you for something. If someone takes what is yours, don't insist on getting it back.King James BibleGive to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.American King James VersionGive to every man that asks of you; and of him that takes away your goods ask them not again.American Standard VersionGive to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.Bible in Basic EnglishGive to everyone who comes with a request, and if a man takes away your property, make no attempt to get it back again.Douay-Rheims BibleGive to every one that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.Darby Bible TranslationTo every one that asks of thee, give; and from him that takes away what is thine, ask it not back.English Revised VersionGive to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.Webster's Bible TranslationGive to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods, ask them not again.Weymouth New TestamentTo every one who asks, give; and from him who takes away your property, do not demand it back.World English BibleGive to everyone who asks you, and don't ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.Young's Literal Translation'And to every one who is asking of thee, be giving; and from him who is taking away thy goods, be not asking again;

cmbdmb1960 6 years, 7 months ago

Debbie Fulks does have family that she is close to - 2 grown daughters that live near and do help her. (a misquote? or misinformation?)

youarenotmyproblem 6 years, 7 months ago

The Bible also teaches us to be good stewards of our money. I give as a Christian but I choose the charity to which I do, I carefully research what they do with the money to ensure they, too, are good stewards of my money that I have worked very hard for.

youarenotmyproblem 6 years, 7 months ago

This woman has not been a good steward of her money. At 9.25 an hour she is bringing home more than $17,000 per year. With no rent, no utilites....and she has only paid off $5000 of her $10,000 debt over a period of 3 years? She should have been able to pay that off within a year without having to pay living expenses. What in the world is she doing with her income? I have no sympathy.

KansasGirl82 6 years, 7 months ago

I had went to Dr. Gaumer's office also. They never gave me a FREE first visit. I had to have insurance to go there or have my dad help me pay them in FULL. There is no payment plan there. I am thankful for that I no longer go to civilian doctor at this time. And some people do have debt that takes a toll on their life where they cannot get an apartment. She is doing the best she can to get out of debt, and get on her own two feet where she can pay her bills on time. My mom works for about the same pay, has her house paid for, and still cant catch a break with her medical bills. Not all people are born with silver spoons in their mouths, like most people think they have been.

cowboy 6 years, 7 months ago

after reading many of these posts it just validates my opinion that society has lost its heart , anyone who has an issue is at fault , and I'll be damned if I'll help them. The doctors in this town make a very nice living off of their captive audience and the major support they get from LMH. They should step up to the plate and create a solution for this community. I'm sorry but they have the power to solve this issue and aren't. I'm sure that LMH would donate OR time and supplies if the doc's really wanted to provide a solution.

KansasGirl82 6 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

greenworld 6 years, 7 months ago

Im afraid if you gave this lady any money she would run and buy a carton of cigs with it according to the picture. Otherwise I need help but im not willing to help myself. I spose it's the cig industries fault that this lady is of bad health. I dont believe she has fallen through the cracks, I think she forgot to figure out how to quit smoking and eating so much. It looks like she hasnt missed to many meals not to sound mean or anything.

sourpuss 6 years, 7 months ago

I am an American in Canada being treated for cancer. I was in a CT machine the day the tumor was found. I saw my oncolgist and surgeon the next day. I've paid nothing for my treatment and I'm expected to be cured (I'm in adjuvent chemo now). Unless you've walked in the shadow of cancer, how dare you shake your finger at someone who is clearly suffering, tut-tutting about smoking, weight, or anything. Cancer is awful, period. Being poor is awful. Me, I'm lucky I'm in Canada. In the states, I couldn't have afforded even one of the multiple operations I had to have. Unless you've been poor with cancer, just shut up. Seriously, just shut up.

greenworld 6 years, 7 months ago

Smoking is an awful thing also that kills many people everyday and ones that dont even smoke as well. Im just stating the obvious and someone is getting defensive. All im trying to say is some of this ladies health problems might be due to how well or (lack there of) that she is taking care of herself. Im definately not her judge but do know what I see and it appears to be not a very healthy person. So basically until you live here in the states instead of running to Canada then you dont know what it's like to suffer. I would tell you to shut up but im a little bit better than that.

sourpuss 6 years, 7 months ago

Greenworld, you're an unkind person. I came here to go to school and I was diagnosed. I didn't "run" up here. Something terrible must have happened to you to make you so unfeeling. I wish you blessings and compassion. I am sorry you are so bitter. I hope this woman gets the help she needs. I hope people who have not had to suffer as she is will think twice before judging her.

greenworld 6 years, 7 months ago

Right as opposed to someone that comes on here and states that they have been cured do to Canada's free medical treatment. That to me is a real slap in the face to this lady who knows that she has no money and American healthcare to deal with. Go back to Canada and tell your story to somebody else that cares. This lady doesnt need to hear it at this point in time. Im not judging her once again just going by what I see. Everyone else on here noticed the pack of cigs and you seem to think that Im the only one judging her, Get real...whatever

KansasGirl82 6 years, 7 months ago

Sourpuss-Thank God you are getting treated! You are a very strong person.

Carol Braden 6 years, 7 months ago

Sometimes people, who have difficulty helping themselves, find ways to gain sympathy from others by saying that their relatives don't help them or care. This is my experience with one of my sisters. I'm sad that she describes me as uncaring and too good for her when that is far from the truth. It is never easy to deal with a family member who has a mental illness. I can imagine that it would be especially difficult at your place of employment.

jayhawkgirl06 6 years, 7 months ago

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akt2 6 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence OB/GYN is staffed and owned by LMH. Dr. Gaumer might end up having to operate anyways if the patient were to be admitted by a hospitalist. Although there are other qualified surgeons.

cmbdmb1960 6 years, 7 months ago

Thank you jayhawkgirl06! I also know Debbie's daughters and agree. They are hard working, functional, and caring young women. KansasGirl82: Debbie's grandchildren are two years apart in age, not just one year apart. (misinformation.)

Leslie Swearingen 6 years, 7 months ago

Okay, I'm a little late getting this in, but here it is for what it is worth. I was taught in instruction when reading the Bible to consider the culture that it was written in. Matthew 5:42 says," give to the one who asks of you." The Roman garrisons in Palestine had the right to requisition the property and services of the native people. The early Christians were counseled to be very correct in their behavior so that no charges could be brought against them that might detract from the main message. It also says for the slave to obey his master. But, I wouldn't try quoting that to an African-American to justify something. The reality is that there are too many poor people with too many needs. It is overwhelming. And, two million lost their jobs last year. We can only do what we can, when we can.Obama has the sight, the strength and the courage, now he has the means. So, now we will see if the Democrats will do what the Republicans could not, or would not do.

Amy Bartle 6 years, 7 months ago

So often the people who don't get the proper care they need is due to mental illness. The Fulks girls are very nice girls who had a very hard life. Thanks to their now deceased grandmother, they had just the basics and a few nice things when they could afford it. ECKAN and the schools looked out for them too. As soon as both girls were able, they took jobs from babysitting to waitressing to walmart. They could have turned to drugs or welfare but they didn't. Ms. Fulks used to be more functional. I could always tell that she wasn't quite right. It was as if she drifted in and out of reality. Her mental illness and physical illnesses combined takes a toll on her and her family members. Regarding the surgery, Dr Gaumer should not be expected to provide a service completely free just because it is asked of her. 900 dollars probably only pays for use of a surgical room and staff such as nurses and anesthesiology. Doctors are not to blame for expensive health coverage in this country.

InspectorJo 6 years, 7 months ago

I truely feel sad for all of the people that have nothing better to do except sit around a rip apart someone who is down on their luck. My guess is that it makes you feel good about yourself to belittle others. My mother always said "if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all". I would advise a good majority of you to abid by this. Remember: if you are not HELPING then you must be HINDERING. You people are very sad and have no love in your hearts. In order to love someone else you must first LOVE yourself. I don't hear any LOVE here.

greenworld 6 years, 7 months ago

The last poster can go hug a tree. InspectorJo the last of free love or love in general was left in the 70's. This is the age of greed and power and step of your throat days. Just ask the last million or so of people that lost their jobs. Tell them to go around and preach love and see if they all have anything nice to say.

InspectorJo 6 years, 7 months ago

Greenworld, I have no intrest in hugging a tree. I do think that you need a hug. You are so full of hatred and anger. May you find peace and forgive yourself and others. If you start with this, you may have a fightening chance, if you continue down the road you are going, your chances are slim to none. Don't knock it until you try it. Here is a HUGGGG for you Greenworld.

greenworld 6 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the hug. I feel much better now. Freedom of speech is such a wonderful thing.

Escapee 6 years, 7 months ago

It's interesting, almost always, to see these stories and responses evolve...problem stated, subject analyzed, opinions voiced, blame affixed, and accusations begin. Same, same. Over, and over.I wonder why when stories are written about the homeless, or the mentally ill, or the seriously ill -- instead of always ending up with fingers pointing toward blaming someone for whatever...why is it so hard for us to just imagine a path that might have ended similarly for oneself...including all the life experiences that brought that person to this point??? Why is it so hard for us to put aside the judgmental stuff that begets NOTHING but negative airspace and a contagious attitude that seems to prevail in forums like this???The one thing that all 'religions' and spiritual theorists seems to agree upon is that we 'owe' one another the respect to live according to the Golden Rule -- Do unto others as you would have them do unto You -- but instead we constantly judge. Kindness is an act that begets dividends. 'Karma' is a derivative of energy spent. Positive energy begets positive karma. Negative energy begets negative karma. Wouldn't it be a better world if we all just tried a little harder to be nice....

BigPrune 6 years, 7 months ago

For all the people out there that think this lady deserves what she is getting because she might be a smoker, just think about this:Nicotine is one of the most, if not the most addictive drugs known to man. This includes heroin, cocaine, marijuana - you name it. It makes one feel calm but at the same time raises the blood pressure. The success rate to stop smoking and never smoke again ever is only 2%.If this lady is a smoker who was diagnosed with cancer and she cannot afford to have surgery to save her life and she has been living this way for 3 months, I don't blame her if she smokes.

Linda Endicott 6 years, 7 months ago

Let's see if we can get this straight, for all of you apparently dyslexic folks out there who can't read or see a photo correctly: according to the original photo, Fulks is the person who has help coming to her home, who has emphysema and fibromyalgia...she is the one the cigarettes were sitting next to...Truex is the caregiver, the one who has cancer and is homeless and works and still can't afford treatment...she is the one that the article was about...And I say Original photo, because they've changed it...probably because of all you know-it-all people who think you have the right to dictate what someone can do with their own money in their own home...wouln't you love it if the morality police came to your door...what would they find in your closet, I wonder??But it doesn't much matter whether one or both of the ladies mentioned in the article smokes...it's irrelevant...the woman is facing possible uteran and ovarian cancer...and it seems that a lot of you believe that because she might be a smoker, that she just deserves to die anyway...What a bunch of sanctimoneous pr*cks....As for the comments of KU med center...it's a teaching hospital...they couldn't do any teaching without patients...they ought to be paying people to come to their damn hospital...especially since the origianl idea from the founder of the hospital was for it to be a place where people who couldn't afford medical treatment would never be turned away...

bambi 6 years, 7 months ago

"How to help Patty TruexA few people have come forward to help Patty Truex raise money for a down payment on a hysterectomy.A fund is being set up at Bank of the West, 4114 W. Sixth St. The bank’s number is 841-7311.The fund is called Patty’s Cancer Fund." This (box beside this article) is exactly why the article exhists. So someone would come forward and pay her bill. My prayer is that this fund is truely used for her health care.Also, there is one sentance that puzzles me in this article. This sentace comes after the director of the doctors office says payment plans can be arrainged on a case by case basis. The next line is: Patty,... however..., said she was willing to work out a payment plan. What is the writer saying here? Is this a complete sentance? Usually the word 'however' inserted into this sentance would imply there was a negative coming. But the sentance says Ms Truex is willing to work with the office and set up payments. So this makes me wonder if the word 'not' was left out. In this context either the 'however' should not have been added or 'not' should have been added. Is Ms Truex willing to work with the office to help pay for the surgery she desires?

Escapee 6 years, 7 months ago

I sure hope neither of these people in the article read this online bull. Can you imagine how it would make you feel if you were one of them??I really wish people in this community weren't so sarcastic. But I guess that trait hides personal flaws that perhaps you don't want us to see. A little like smoking, isn't it?You all make me want to say...'if you can't say somethin nice, then don't say anything at all'....

Sharon Aikins 6 years, 7 months ago

I notice they have changed the photo today but obviously, it was the person Ms. Truex cared for who smoked. A comment about the Canadian health care system. I had a close friend in Quebec who recently died from cancer. She was due to meet with a doctor to determine her course of treatment. That appointment was two days after she died. She waited months for tests and doctor's appointments. She did not have private insurance, yes they do have that in Canada, and was unable to pay herself for treatment, so she was last in line. Not everything is covered there either, such as physical therapy ordered by a doctor. You pay or you don't get it. She was given drugs so old, they don't even use them here any longer. So the poster who has had such great treatment must either have had insurance, paid for part of it herself or been in one of the wealthier provinces. My friend died after months of excruciating pain, hospitalized only the last three days of her life. The Canadian health care system is tainted by the almight dollar and private insurance companies. Still, it is better than not being able to afford health care at all.

Durfus 6 years, 7 months ago

Debbie and Patty have there faults. But Debbie has two wounderful caring dauthers who she loves very much and would do anything for them but they are being hurt through these comments, so leave them out please. Signed A close friend of the family.

KansasKel 6 years, 7 months ago

When my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, he did not have insurance. The surgeon (at KU Med Center) would not even see him for a consultation without $2000 up front at the first appointment.I hope none of you making these hard-hearted comments about these women ever end up facing a situation where $900 might make the difference between you living or dying.

youarenotmyproblem 6 years, 7 months ago

The woman has the $900. Look at the wages vs. living expenses.

scooby 6 years, 7 months ago

In this article it doesn't say doctor Guamer is a bad doctor.It didn't mention Ms Fulks kids. But all you guys do is put them down and Yes all of their Friiends and Family read this and points it out to them. So I just Hope they can get over their hurt. Has far as Ms Fulks Kids they are not worthless they Have worked hard and they are very kind. And the person that' said you can't tell client want to do well that right they are adults.You cant go in someone home and tell them want to do.So see all your doing is hurting these people by this. I send my support to them all . I wish peple get to know people before they judge. This is from a close family friend Good luck all

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