One person’s health care

The story of health care in America is loaded with lives that changed in a split second.

One year ago next week, Alan Henley, a popular airshow performer, was doing some chin-ups on a bar when it collapsed. He was playing with his kids at the time. He hasn’t walked — or done much else — since.

His wife has been relentless in posting updates to his Caring Bridge site. But today, there’s the desperation in her words that serve as a reminder that for millions of Americans, there’s more to the health care debate than politics.

You all know how hard it is for me to update when things are not going well, but I so believe in the power of prayer that I’m just going to say, things are not going well at all. I’m assuming it has to be because we are almost upon the year anniversary of that night…the night that has forever changed our lives irreversibly. We had so hoped for more return but it’s just not coming back, so now instead of hope we have to face reality.

Yes I believe that Alan will be able to do so much more in time but he needs help and equipment that BCBS just won’t pay for. His therapy visits will be up in the beginning of August and then we are on our own. He said, “I guess they just give up on you when they no you have no hope of getting better.” To say that this has impacted his frame of mind and determination is an understatement. I can’t blame him and I find it hard to help him and relate from my able bodied state. I would be a fool to think I get it. But what breaks my heart is how do I get him back? He feels like he has nothing to live for and is just a burden. How did it get to this?

  • lily

    I would encourage Allen and his wife to appeal BCBS’s decision to stop therapy at this point. The request needs to be in writing and sent to BCBS. They also may benefit from a managed care case manager, who can advocate for things that might otherwise be out of their benefit set. His psychological state is an integral part of his physical state and this can also be put in writing and supported by any involved mental health professionals. i would also encourage them to explore support groups, both live and on line.Keep hope alive!

    I will pray for you both.

    You may also want to consider a longer term care hospital, such as Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, MN. Bethesda is part of the Healtheast network (