4045Emma Bull Accident
- Oct 1, 2001Sorry 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,
> 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
> 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
> 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.
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