Insurance is important to me because without it I don’t know where my family would be after my grandfather’s heart attack. Throughout the course of my grandfather’s life he suffered three heart attacks and two open heart surgeries, but survived it all before passing away in 2007 at the age of sixty six. After his first heart attack at age twenty nine, everyone in the family had to step up to maintain their way of life. My grandmother had to go back to work in order to pay the bills, but wasn’t making enough on her own to take care of everyone. My dad ended up getting a job as well in order to help his mom support his sister and two brothers. This was all supposed to be a temporary circumstance, with my grandfather expected to be in the hospital for just a few days. The situation was in fact temporary, however it lasted quite a bit longer than everyone had thought it would.
The second heart attack occurred about a year later, but was far worse than the first one. My grandmother had dropped her temporary job at this point, but my dad decided to keep his since he was doing so well at it, and the extra income was making his life run a little smoother. My grandfather ended up back in the hospital, this time having to deal with the doctors running a multitude of tests on him. The doctors knew for a fact that he had a weak heart, so they started to look for solutions to his problem. They looked at all the options, and narrowed it down to open heart surgery. With medical procedures not being as advanced as the work of today, open heart surgery was done quite a bit differently. The healing process back then took almost double the time to complete as it would now. This meant he would be out of work a lot longer than everyone had expected. The surgery was a lengthy process, but in the end was a success. The recovering aspect took longer for him to complete than the doctors had predicted. My grandfather ended up being out of work for a little over two months after the procedure was all said and done.
Three years after my grandfather’s second heart attack, and open heart surgery, his body tried to give out on him one last time. The third attack was the one that brought the family down the most. My dad had to make the decision to quit school in order to work full time so he could support his family. The doctors believed that a second open heart surgery would fix all the problems the first one did not. My grandfather worked as a drywaller, and with a physical labor job as demanding and strenuous as this, it would be a very long time before he could go back to work. The final surgery went without complications, and he made a full recovery. He left the hospital, but was unable to go back to work for quite awhile.
The strain of living in a single income family had proven to be a difficult challenge in and of itself, but the hospital bills took it to another level. At this point in time Insurance was a saving grace. My grandfathers health insurance took care of the thousands of dollars in hospital bills and made it possible for my family to get back to normal. My dad was able to return to school once my grandfather was fully recovered and they all made it out without going into debt. My family was very fortunate to have health insurance and I am beyond grateful at how much easier it made a difficult situation.
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