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4045Emma Bull Accident

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  • Edith Crowe
    Oct 1, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Sorry it took me so long to forward this, but a virus got me and I've been
      out of it for a while.


      Elizabeth Bales-Stutes wrote:

      > Just learned that Emma Bull, author of War for the Oaks and Finder,
      > had a very nasty fall at the Minnesota Ren Festival on Sept. 8, and
      > broke both elbows. Have pasted in a letter on the subject from Will
      > Shetterly, Emma's husband, as well as a note from Cat Eldridge of the
      > Green Man Review. Do you think there'd be any interest among Mythies
      > in helping out by buying t-shirts? It's a sad day when a talented
      > author, or anyone for that matter, has to go the county health care
      > route for what's got to be a rather painful injury. I don't want to
      > spam or annoy anyone; the Myth Soc just seemed like a likely forum
      > for this.
      > Many thanks,
      > EB
      > ----
      > From: Cat Eldridge <cat@...>
      > Subject: War for the Oaks t-shirts
      > Will just sent me the artwork for the Eddy and The Fey t-shirts he
      > did way back. I'm try to get an idea if there's any interest in
      > purchasing them at this point in time. They'd be black t-shirts with
      > this layout on the front:
      > Eddy and The Fey
      > Illustration of the band (Actually Emma and friends)
      > War for the Oaks
      > I'd guess twenty dollars would cover printing and shipping.
      > ----
      > From: Cat Eldridge <cat@...>
      > Subject: Update on Emma Bull
      > Status:
      > Any $$$ left over from the WfTO shirts after covering costs will be
      > donated to Emma and Will
      > bgn txt
      > Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 16:38:43 -0700
      > To: Will Shetterly <shetterly@...>
      > From: Will Shetterly <shetterly@...>
      > Subject: Emma's Health Care Adventure
      > Sender: owner-signal-to-noise@...
      > Precedence: bulk
      > To recap (with some new details):
      > At lunchtime on September 8 at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival,
      > Emma was holding a rhythm instrument like a set of wooden spoons that
      > she plays right-handed by knocking the clackers between her left hand
      > and the leather pouch on her left hip. That meant both of her elbows
      > were turned out and forward. She was heading from the bright outdoors
      > into a shadowy feast hall, making her entrance through a doorway used
      > by performers and waiters and patrons on their way to the toilets.
      > That meant Emma couldn't possibly have seen the wet spot on the floor.
      > She slipped, fell forward, and broke both elbows. The left was a
      > clean break; it should heal fine. The right was a mess. On September
      > 10 in Minneapolis, Emma went in for surgery involving a bone graft
      > and a large plate that will have to be removed when the bone has
      > knit. There was some nerve damage to the right arm, and she may not
      > regain her full range of movement.
      > On the 14th, she asked the owners of the Ren Fest to get their
      > insurance information to the doctor in Minneapolis. On Sunday the
      > 16th, she flew home to Los Angeles (a story for another time), and we
      > began the hunt for a doctor to take over her care. A doctor friend
      > (Hi, Michael!) recommended an orthopedist with an excellent
      > reputation; we thought our concerns were over. Emma was at the Ren
      > Fest as a scheduled performer that day, so their liability insurance
      > should cover her.
      > What's new:
      > The orthopedist's office manager told us that they do not handle
      > patients with "third party" insurance; either the patient pays, or
      > the patient's insurance pays. One of the decisions Emma and I had to
      > make to be full-time artists was to be among the 45 million Americans
      > who have no health coverage. So we asked about orthopedists who
      > handle "third party" insurance and found one.
      > That doctor's office manager said they needed the go-ahead from the
      > third-party insurer. Of course, we could pay for the initial visit up
      > front: Just to make a new set of X-rays and change Emma's dressing
      > would cost over $500.
      > So we began making phone calls to see if we could get the insurance
      > company to act faster. On Friday the 21st, thirteen days after the
      > accident, we learned that the Ren Fest's insurance broker, Acordia,
      > had just filed the report with K & K, the insurance company. K & K
      > said they hadn't received the report yet. Meanwhile, Emma's doctor in
      > Minneapolis recommended that Emma have her wounds looked at soon.
      > At this point, I realized that I'd been naive in thinking K & K would
      > be ready to cover our expenses quickly. Insurance companies have
      > people who get good money to find reasons why their company shouldn't
      > have to pay for anything. I think Emma's situation is clear-cut and
      > will be addressed quickly.
      > But I don't know that for sure. So I began researching low-cost
      > health care in California. Several friends offered to try to get
      > favors from doctors they knew, but I hate accepting favors unless I
      > know there are no other options. Hours of research literally reduced
      > me to tears--my own suffering is easy to take, but not being able to
      > do anything to help Emma is the most frustrating thing I've ever
      > endured.
      > The only course of treatment we could find without spending money we
      > don't have right now meant going into the Los Angeles County health
      > care system. For othopedic work, there's nothing available in our
      > area; there's only LAC-USC--L. A. County Hospital, located downtown.
      > To get into its system, you have to go through its emergency room.
      > So, on Saturday, we drove downtown and got there around 1:30 in the
      > afternoon and filled out a few papers. Around 5, we filled out a few
      > more papers, Around 8, Emma went into the examining room for X-rays
      > and to have her splint changed. Around 9, someone came to do those
      > things. Around 11, we went home with an appointment to see an
      > orthopedist next week. If the worst happens, if the insurance company
      > doesn't come through in time for us to transfer Emma's care to a
      > doctor who is more convenient, she will be fine.
      > LAC-USC is obviously under-funded; the bathrooms smell and the
      > paint's peeling and the floors aren't clean. They're obviously
      > under-staffed; X-rays and a change of splint took nearly ten hours
      > there, though they took less than three in Minneapolis. This isn't
      > the fault of the people who work there. They're generally kind and
      > helpful in the face of incredibly frustrating conditions.
      > A lawyer friend (Hi, Russ!) has offered to send a letter to encourage
      > K & K to speed things if they don't get back to us in the next couple
      > of days. We may call in a few favors if we have to keep using LAC-USC
      > and they prove to be clearly inadequate. One thing I know for sure:
      > Emma's physical health will not suffer because of this.
      > Despite these frustrations, we're both doing quite well. It's great
      > knowing we have so many friends in L.A. and Minneapolis and
      > elsewhere; we're thankful for all the offers of help. We're very,
      > very lucky people.
      > Will
      > --
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