This is a continuation of the moving story behind the WLSFA's Alice Neff Grant for free weight loss surgery. Read Part One if you missed it.
Alice Neff had reached the point in her life where a need had become clear, but the remedy for that need dangled like the proverbial carrot on a string. Alice had been told in no uncertain terms that if she did not get gastric bypass surgery she would die. Although Alice was insured, her policy did not cover gastric bypass surgery and her insurance representatives remained unmoved by the appeals of both Alice and her doctor. You can read Alice's story in here own words on Obesity Help. It is both heart-breaking and courageous.
The Health Problems from Morbid Obesity
Alice would be hospitalized five times in a two year period: three times for hernia repair and twice for problems with her legs. Alice also had sleep apnea, stress incontinence, arthritis in both knees, venous stasis disease, lymph edema in both legs, depression, and chronic skin problems. Alice’s doctor informed the insurance company that all of these issues could be resolved by gastric bypass surgery, but the answer had been given and it was no.
Her hospitalizations would cost $60,000 while the cost of a gastric bypass procedure would have been $25,000.
Alice’s second daughter, Hilary, was born a special needs child and had been a labor of love ever since.
At twenty years of age, Hilary had the mental capacity of a two year old. She had cerebral palsy, a severe seizure disorder, received liquids through a feeding tube, wore diapers, was blind in one eye, and subject to self-abuse.
She would bite the skin from her arms as well as kick, scratch, and bang her head. Nurses who were assigned as caregivers took to not showing up due to the severity of Hilary’s behavior, and Alice would lose two jobs because of these breeches.
Alice was committed to her daughter, and institutionalization was not an option. She believed that Hilary would be overmedicated at such places and certainly not receive the car and affection that she received at home.
It was reported that the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call from an Emmets View Circle home at around 11:30 in the evening.
The bodies of Alice Neff and her daughter Hilary were in a car that was inside the garage that was on the property. Alice’s body was found in the front seat of the vehicle and Hilary’s body was found in the back seat.
Deputies suspected carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause of death in what was being deemed a murder-suicide.
A note was found in the vehicle.
The Alice Neff Grant
There can be no judgment about that final decision. It is all too personal. Simply put, it is done. But it does beg a question: If a society is judged by how well it treats its’ most needy, then how will we one day be judged?
The Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America has created the Alice Neff Grant for those who need weight loss surgery but are unable to access funding through traditional supports.
I hope that you will apply for the Alice Neff grant if you are in need. I ask that you support the WLFSA with a charitable contribution if you have the means.
Up next: Apply for WLSFA Weight Loss Surgery Grant
Local 8 Online http://www.volunteertv.com/home/headlines/9550367.html -
Obesity Help http://www.obesityhelp.com/member/alicem/ - accessed 5/7/12
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You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.
Published On: May 13, 2012