Our Stories

Lora Gregory – Family trip ends with a long-term illness

LoraGregory2When Lora Gregory went to Washington, D.C., in June 2014 for vacation, she had a great time. When she got home, however, her plans to get back to work were derailed.

“Just after we got back on the train, I had terrible pain in my leg and went to the ER,” Lora recalls. “I had a blood clot, and was hospitalized. I had planned on going back to work as soon as I got home, but I never made it.”

As a nurse at Brandon Regional Hospital in Brandon, Fla., Lora knew full well the dangers blood clots can pose, but even she wasn’t ready for all the twists and turns her condition would take.

“I thought I could just take care of myself at home, and so I confidently told them I would do my own treatment,” she says. “And so they put me on blood thinner and some other medications. Within a day, I was in so much pain that I had to go back to the hospital and this time I was admitted. I wound up on the floor where I worked!”

A numbness in her leg led to MRIs and other tests, as well as surgery to deal with a torn meniscus and other problems. Walking was impossible, so Lora relied on wheelchairs and other devices, as well as a myriad of new doctors to help her recover.

“I couldn’t get around at all, and then I was seeing a neurologist, vascular surgeon, orthopedic surgeon, hematologist … it was overwhelming, and I’m someone who knows what they all do. And then the bills started piling up, because even with insurance there are a lot of expenses that fall outside what’s being covered. Add to that a reduction in my income, because I couldn’t work, and I was really facing some financial trouble.”

One day while she was at the hospital for tests, she visited her floor and, while talking to a supervisor, was reminded of the Hope Fund.

“I really didn’t know about it, so my supervisors offered to help me print out the form and fill it in,” Lora says. “I went back the next day to copy and send all the other information, and I hadn’t even gotten home before I got a call saying that they’d received everything. It got immediate attention, for which I was so grateful. Within a couple of hours, I was approved. When I got that call, I just cried. It was a godsend.

She still has a ways to go with her recovery, but with the Hope Fund’s help she’s been able to stay on top of her bills, and now can focus on getting well — and getting back to taking care of patients.

“The Hope Fund has helped me tremendously through this difficult time,” Lora says. “I can’t say enough good things about it.”

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