A friend's wife, Valerie Richardson, has just been through a harrowing experience - and at the worst possible time, with the coronavirus pandemic already disrupting lives, work and income.
A couple of weeks ago, Valerie was feeling ill and went to bed with what she and her husband thought was the flu.
A few days later he took her to the emergency room to find out she had pneumonia. She was transferred first to Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas, and then to the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. She has since undergone thoracic surgery to help her breathe better.
It turns out the pneumonia is a particularly nasty form called "necrotizing" and has eaten away part of one lung. Val has severe asthma and this is a complication.
Her husband Patrick was a long-time newspaper editor for what is now Gannett, but was laid off in October and has been making a living as a freelancer. However, they do not have insurance and the bills are mounting as they are now more than a week into an ICU stay with more time to come.
Any help you can give would be very appreciated, by Valerie, by Patrick and her entire family, to include her 10 (!) grandchildren.
That's from a GoFundMe fund-raiser that Patrick Richardson has posted, to try to deal with the medical bills that he and his wife are now facing. To make matters worse, it seems that Facebook is deleting every post he puts up with a link to the fundraiser - why, I don't know, unless they're paranoid about possible fraud. However, it makes it very difficult for him to spread the word and ask for help; so I promised I'd pass the word here.
Miss D. and I have known Patrick for some time. He's part of a large online community of writers and fans. I'll be personally very grateful if you can see your way to helping him, even if only with a small amount. Valerie is in a lot of pain recovering from a very major procedure. Patrick is trying to help her as best he can, in a city far from home. It's a really tough time for them. Their expenses are likely to run into the multiple tens of thousands of dollars, perhaps hundreds of thousands - and they have no insurance.
Thanks for reading this, friends, and for helping if you can. I appreciate it.