Stories from Nurses House
Over the years, Nurses House has helped thousands of nurses, from all 50 states, regain health and productivity. The nurses we serve, known as guests, are a very diverse group, ranging in age from 20s to 80s. Some nurses face short-term health crises and can eventually return to work; others, not so lucky, are permanently disabled. Here are a few of their stories, with minor details altered to protect confidentiality.
Story 1 — Age 34
Guest was diagnosed with severe bilateral carpel tunnel syndrome. Forced to leave work due to restricted motion in her hands, she was awaiting surgery. A mother of three, she received a small amount of unemployment and food stamps, but at the time of her application, her unemployment was scheduled to run out. She had no means to provide for her children while recovering from surgery. Nurses House was able to offer assistance with rent and bills until she was able to return to employment.
Story 2 — Age 30
Guest was diagnosed with a brain tumor, requiring craniotomy. She suffered severe headaches, trouble with word finding, and short term memory loss. Just before the diagnosis, she became pregnant. By the time she applied to Nurses House, her baby was nearly a year old. At that point, the guest was unable to work, supported solely by her husband’s income. Her medical bills, though covered through her husband, were substantial and other household bills were falling behind. She requested assistance to help pay down her medical bills.
Story 3 — Age 41
Guest had a history of insulin-dependant diabetes, asthma, and hip problems. In 2001, he developed renal failure and went on to receive a kidney transplant. He suffered adverse reactions to the transplant, developing multiple complications. At the time he applied for help, he was back on dialysis. The guest was separated from his wife and received disability, but it wasn’t enough to cover his bills. He requested help with his health insurance premium, telephone bill, and car payment.
Story 4 — Age 55
Guest was assaulted by a patient at work. With severe injuries to her back, she was determined to be permanently disabled. Later that year, guest’s husband was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. With medical bills piling up, and her bank account diminishing, she applied for help with mortgage payments so that she could keep up with her other bills.
Story 5 — Age 57
Guest suffers from degenerative joint disease. In 2003, he fell at work and required hip replacement surgery. Since that time, he has struggled to attain SSD and Worker’s Comp. He has used up his savings and is just getting by on what he is receiving in assistance from his family. He requested help to pay his telephone bill and utilities until he was able to find a desk job.
Story 6 — Age 55
Guest fractured her shoulder and was forced to leave her nursing position. Worker’s Comp paid her $500 a month for six months, then reduced the amount to $200. Guest lives with her schizophrenic daughter and must take care of her. She is seeking a job in another field, but finds it difficult because of her age, health, and lack of skills. She requested help with rent until she could find employment.
Nurses House helped nearly 300 nurses in the past three years, with grants totaling more almost $300,000. That's an admirable record, but the truth is, we can't keep pace with the ever-increasing demand. With current levels of charitable giving, we can only help about half the nurses who seek our assistance. Nurses House depends on contributions from nurses and friends nationwide. Click here to read about recent fundraising events that provided much needed assistance for nurses in need.