17 Jessica B

Institution to be attended in the semester following the date of submission: Either Washington University in St. I’ve spent ten years helping find families for abused and neglected children. Working for several nonprofit organizations, I saw daily how what one experiences shapes the way they perceive the world. My short-term disability insurance and health insurance changed my perspective regarding insurance profoundly and shown me that having it makes the impossible possible. Insurance is not only important while you’re using it, it’s also invaluable in the years that follow.

As Shakespeare said, “there’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” In October of 2014, I was pregnant with my second child when I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, a disease that threatened to disable me. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t do my job anymore. The disease had affected my hands and body to the point that I could no longer perform my regular work duties. On October 23rd, I had a stress-induced partial placental abruption.  I nearly lost my son after experiencing intense bleeding from a stress-induced partial placental abruption. Had a melon sized blood clot not formed, blocking the tear in my placenta, my baby would have drowned. The doctors said it would have been as if he were in a submarine with no oxygen. Thankfully, the bleeding did stop. However, doctors still believed I would deliver him that night – which, at 28 weeks, is dangerously early to deliver a baby. The hospital specialists converged on my room to explain the risks inherent in premature babies. Words like cerebral palsy and ventilator left me trembling. That night my perspective on what was important changed forever. Nothing mattered besides my son’s health. All of life’s trivial worries were swept away with one excruciating sweep. It was as if the world had just stopped turning.

Thankfully, my employer had disability insurance and the stress of not having a salary during this time was a problem I did not have to worry about. I also had sound health insurance for myself and for my children. Both types of insurance were about to prove invaluable.

Thankfully, I stayed pregnant for another month. I delivered my son, Jude, at 31 weeks and he went immediately to the NICU. Nothing could have prepared me for being a NICU mom. Babies who are born premature have what they call the A’s and B’s. The letter A stands for apnea, a temporary cessation of breathing. B stands for bradycardia, when the heart rate slows to less than 80 beats per minute. When this happens, an alarm sounds on the baby’s monitor, alerting the nurses that the baby’s heartbeat is dangerously low. I can still remember the gut-wrenching sound of the alarm as well as the bittersweet feeling of relief upon realizing that it was another baby’s alarm and not my son’s. On many an occasion a nurse stepped in during a period of bradycardia to perform an intervention – a gentle rubbing on my son’s back to speed his heart rate. These moments were the hardest.

Jude came home safe and my life was different in so many ways. After you’ve brought a child back from near death, anything seems possible. I’ve come to realize that, before Jude, I took my perceptions limited my potential and hindered my worthwhile risk-taking. After he was home and the dangers passed, I experienced wonderful revelations. My creativity blossomed, my humor increased, I was a better mom, had more compassion and saw the world as a more hopeful place. I realized that I’m no longer complacent with my life. Jude inspired me to believe in myself and to achieve my dreams. Thanks to the long-term disability insurance and health insurance, I didn’t have to file bankruptcy or worry about not being able to spend time with my son.

Now, I want to further my career to do more to help children and I finally believe I can. I’m ready and excited to face every challenge. My experiences helped me prioritize things in a profound way. They dislodged perceptions of what I thought was possible and revealed to me that there are many brightly lit paths on which I can walk.

It is my experience, drive and passion that motivated me to apply to law school. I never gave up on the hopes that my son would survive and I won’t give up on my dreams to become a lawyer and fight for children’s rights. I’ve already faced the biggest trial of my life, nearly losing my son. Now I’m setting the course to achieve the next big challenge – pursuing a degree in law. With this new perspective, I can fulfill my life’s goal of helping children by protecting their rights and prosecuting those who prey upon them.

Thanks to having insurance, I can now focus on things besides my financial situation. I’m not drowning in hospital bills. Because of disability insurance, I did not need to work while on hospital bedrest or in the months following the arrival of my son home from the NICU. Having insurance relieved stress and allowed me to focus on achieving what I’ve always wanted to do – go back to school. Thanks to insurance, I’m more driven now to achieve my dreams than ever before. I’ve benefited from the advice and guidance of many professionals in my field and I bring with me to law school their insight and the knowledge I’ve gained from years of work in public service. My degree in Criminology provided me with a basic understanding of criminality and the ten years I spent working with crime victims gave me intense insight into their multifaceted needs.  I bring with me to law school my experience, understanding, and a boundless drive to achieve greatness for children’s rights.

I have my insurance to thank for where I am now. One never thinks they will need to have insurance. Speaking from the point of someone who has benefited greatly from it, I can say that everyone needs insurance. It not only provides a safety net from a possible great financial burden, it also provides much-needed relief from stress once you do need it. I have peace of mind knowing that, should I ever need to use my insurance again, I can.

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