SERIES: Healthcare in America, Helen Krim, This Is the Bronx

This is part of an ongoing series that gives Bronx writers a chance to share their personal stories on the state of healthcare in America.

by Helen Krim

My cousin’s son, Sammy, would have been nineteen years old in July if he had lived. He was adopted at birth by my cousin and his wife who loved him very much. They were unable to have their own biological child, but never felt the lack once they adopted Sammy. My cousin’s wife had a highly skilled technical job, and my cousin also was working.

When Sammy was six, tragedy struck. My cousin’s wife became ill, lost her hearing and her short-term memory. She became disabled and could never be left alone. She couldn’t be relied on to turn off the burner on the stove or remember that she had started to run a bath. My cousin needed to take care of her and Sammy, an overwhelming task at first.

Fortunately, they did not lose their house because of disability payments ...

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