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July 31, 2003

Dear Friends & Customers:

July was a very rough month for our family. We apologize for the rather poor service some of you received; however, we have recently been involved in a traumatic situation involving our daughter, MJ.

To make a long story short, she was life-flighted to Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington on Saturday, July 12th. We had planned on paying bills that weekend but never got to it since we ended up spending the next twelve days in Seattle. As you will see from the enclosed bill from Airlift Northwest, this letter is not a joke. (Not on web site - It was $22,000)

On Saturday morning, July 12th, we rushed her to the emergency room because we could not control her fever with Tylenol or Advil. She suffers from a seizure disorder and a fever causes her to have grand mal seizures. After having a seizure that morning, we decided it was time to get some immediate help. We call her pediatrician’s office who suggested we take her to the walk-in clinic. They assessed the situation and immediately rushed her to the ER. They were unable to determine the cause of the intense swelling in her throat and were afraid that should they not intubate, she would loose the ability to breathe. The pediatrician on call made the determination that they would not be able handle the situation in Missoula and decided to call Children’s Hospital in Seattle to see if they were able to take her. Children’s Hospital in Seattle flew a Lear Jet to Missoula to pick her up. My husband was able to fly with her and I came later.

On Sunday in Seattle, they determined from the results of various tests that she had RSV (a respiratory infection), pneumonia and strep all at once. She was kept in the NICU until Monday, July 14th when she was able to breathe well enough on her own that she did not need to remain in Intensive Care. She was transferred to a patient floor where we remained in isolation because of the RSV for nine days.

Because of her seizure disorder, the neurologist on call decided to run additional tests to find out the root cause of this disorder. We are still awaiting those results. She was discharged on Wednesday, July 23rd and we drove back home to Missoula that day.

Since Rich is self-employed, whenever he is out of the office, he brings in no income. Due to the vacation policy at work, I must wait one year prior to receiving vacation pay so I did not get paid for my absence from work during this crisis. I was also unable to take any sick leave as I have used it all up on other occasions when MJ has been sick. In addition, due to the costs of food, lodging and transportation while in Seattle, this trip put us even further behind on our bills.

We appeal to you for help.
Things that would be helpful:
Please make your payment as soon as possible.
Referrals for web development work.
Anything else you can think of that may be helpful.

we would greatly appreciate any help or helpful ideas.

We are unsure of the amounts that the insurance policies we have for her will cover for this little adventure as this trip was absolutely a surprise for us and we were not able to determine the coverage prior to arriving in Seattle.

Thank you very much for your consideration to our request.




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