Monday, September 24, 2012

Shriners Hospital has to charge families of Children

A long time ago, my family and I spent a lot of time at the Shriners Hospital in Ladue.  When I was but a wee lad, I had some bone problem in my lower legs.  X-rays showed quite a bit of my tibia's were dying, showing up as dark grey or black instead of the usual white.  There were days that I couldn't walk, couldn't go to school, couldn't sleep due to the pain.  That was a problem.  And it was a bigger problem for a poor family like mine.  We went to Shriners sometimes weekly, and spent all day in the waiting room, waiting for the nurse to mispronounce my name and call us in.  I had full leg casts at one time, crutches many times, and numerous braces.  But it was all paid for.  Free. 

I eventually grew out of the problem (there is a name for the disease, but I don't know what it is).  Without Shriners, though, I would have never gotten any care other than a wheel chair and pain killers.

It pains me to read that Shriners Hospitals will no longer be able to provide these services for free.  LINK.  Now, just like most health care facilities, they will have to charge customers and bill insurance companies.  It's a sign of the times.  But I am saddened by the loss of a crucial safety net for less fortunate families.

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