Monday, 20 September 2010

A Sad State Of Affairs

Photo Copyright: Maggie May

My friend, Squirrel is very worried about her sister right now.
She lives in USA and has been there a long time. Originally, she followed an American man that she'd met, who happened to be married, but split from his wife (or so she believed).
It is the usual story....... she became pregnant with his child and they set up home together
in the States and had a son, Zac, who is now school-aged.
I am not going to judge them, why should I? It happened and cannot be reversed.

After some time, things started to go wrong between the two of them and the man left Lynne and went back to his wife.
Being an American citizen, the boy's father had overall say in where Lynne's son went and the boy is not allowed out of the country and possibly out of the State they live in, though Lynne does have custody of him. This is making Lynne a virtual prisoner.

The father wants custody of Zac and his wife wants to adopt him.
It looks like they stand a good chance of this happening because Lynne has discovered that she has breast cancer and has no health insurance.
Zac, being an American citizen and a child, is fully insured, but Lynne simply couldn't afford to pay for her own health insurance.

As she is a British Citizen, Lynne could get free treatment for her cancer over here, but of course she cannot bring her son back and will not leave him. So now she would sooner die than lose her son, but by dying she will lose him anyway and I'm sure her son would rather have her alive.
This is a terrible state of affairs and what I want to know is..... all my American readers......., what do other people do over there, who find themselves in this situation? Surely it can't be that unusual? I really cannot get my head round it.



25 comments:

Saz said...

what a dilemma!! Of course we put our kids first don't we? But at what cost...perhaps the fact that her child needs her in the future...but l'm sure she has thought of that too...

sigh how awful really...l'll be interested to hear from your stateside readers...


think of you often

saz x

Peter said...

Om my goodness, what a horrible situation to be in! I really wouldn't have a clue - of course she wants to be there for her son, but by being beaten by the C, kind of defeats the object. Tricky one...

Suburbia said...

That's such a dreadful story, I can't imagine what she's going through, I'm not the praying sort but if I was I'd be doing loads of it for her.

Twain12 said...

i live in canada and thank goodness we have universal health care so i don't know what her options are....i just feel so bad for her.

Formerly known as Frau said...

That is terrible she needs to get a lawyer!

Akelamalu said...

What a terrible situation for your sister! I can understand her not wanting to leave her child but unless she gets well he will lose her forever. She should come back to the UK, get well, then go back and fight for him if she can't talk his father round to letting the boy come to the UK. I wish her well and am sending Reiki to her situation.

TechnoBabe said...

I suppose much depends on how far along the cancer is by now. If she is in early stages and has a chance to beat the cancer she needs to find a clinic and begin treating the cancer. It certainly looks like she will need help from the boy's father while she is in treatment. And that will unfortunately make it more certain the father will get custody. What a mess this is. Getting involved with a man who is still legally married is almost always a totally bad decision.

Bernie said...

Oh Maggie this is such a sad situation and her with only her son for family and support.
What kind of heart does her ex and his wife have.....they must know how much she needs her son right now.
We have free health care in Canada and everything is done to keep the mother as primary parent.....if her and her ex could work something out together and present it to the court but she definitely needs his help and I think he is too selfish.
She really needs to put herself and her health issues first right now, then focus on being a mother to her son. If she puts all focus on him, he will not have a mother 10 years from now. Please Maggie have someone she loves and trust talk with her....if she does the right things she can be healthy and have her son as well, it will take much patience and time but it can happen.....keeping her in my prayers always sweetie.........:-)Hugs

Brian Miller said...

oh man..this has layers...my sister is in a similar situation on the custody front...there is a state law that says she can not take the kids out of state or move without relinquishing her rights...so now she is stuck in mid america hours from home with no fam to help...as far as a solution we have not found one...

Expat mum said...

Having lived here for 20 years I'm sad to say there's not much she can do on either front. No American court is going to allow an American child out of the country (and yes, even the state) against the wishes of an American parent. Simple as that. She could try to find a lawyer to fight it, but if she can't afford medical bills, she won't be able to afford a lawyer. (I have a British friend whose British ex-husband is quite happy here, doesn't want to go back to the UK - and she can't even take her English kids (dual nationality) back to England.)

As for the health issue; technically, she can go to the local county hospital as they're supposed to take any patient. However, she will probably get basic care at the most.

A tragic situation. If I were her, I would contact the local TV channel and see if they would do the story. Some oncologist might see it and take her on for free.

Eddie Bluelights said...

What a terrible situation for her, Maggie. It is one of those impossible situations.
Logic says come back to England and get treated and perhaps she will be able to go back when her health is better and fight her case. Problem is the timescale and if she is seen to return to UK then that might strengthen the case against her.
I think the best option is to try to work something out with the father.
Very tricky ~ Eddie x

Hilary said...

Oh what a sad and cruel tale. I have a hard time wrapping my mind about someone who cares so little about his son's well being that he will allow the boy's mother to perish or for them lose one another to distance. He's doing damage to that boy that he'll never be able to undo. This is not what a loving father does.. not to mention a decent human being. I'm sorry for your friend's sister.

Janean said...

there are probably many of us who'd love to kick mr. let-me-ruin-your-life's shins (or whatever).

that said; if she goes to a judge with her medical records and explains she needs to go home for treatment she may get more sympathy and leniency. also, if she gets a cure, she can at least be in her son's life. he wants his mom alive.

there are free clinics and resources available if she searches.

Rose said...

This is certainly a terrible situation! What she needs first of all is a good lawyer; of course, they don't come cheap. I'm not sure how the father managed to restrict the boy's travel, but a good lawyer might get around that. There are also free clinics and health care services available to those who can't afford to pay--she should check with a local Legal Aid Association and social services where she lives. I wish her good luck!

Ayak said...

I can't add anything else to what's already been said except that I feel desperately sorry for the poor woman. Dreadful situation.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It sounds like something out of a film when you read it back. But it is of course, very much a reality and I should imagine more common than we dare to think.

Our children always comes first; their happiness is paramount, but unless we have our health we are unable to look after themselves.

My love, CJ xx

Nick Thomas said...

She needs to go home, get treatment, & get healthy. Then she'll have time to deal with the the problem. If she was in the military, she'd could be separated from her family for months. It happens.

Granny Smith said...

As an American, I am really ashamed that we have no universal free health care. Beyond that, I would recommend that she hire a lawyer. He might be able to see clearly what can be done to both get her health care and keep her child. It's a tragic situation and I wish her the best.

Wendy said...

Oh how dreadful, Maggie! I just cannot imagine being in a situation like that. I was going to say that there must be free clinics or medical care in the u.s., but I see that others have said that already.

Sending lots of hugs and prayers. I do hope she can beat the cancer and keep a tight grip on her son.
Shame on his father!

Ann Best said...

I am SO sorry for your friend's sister. We do sometimes get ourselves in terrible situations, and this one sounds gruesome. I pray that something positive will result, for the child and for everyone involved. Especially for the child. The children always suffer the most.
Ann

Wisewebwoman said...

This is beyond comprehension, Maggie. Some sad sad stories breach the bounds of all human decency and compassion.
Being angry is going to make it worse for her, like others said an appeal to the father and social services might help her.
A true case for universal health care, everywhere. One can't put a price on anyone's health.
XO
WWW

secret agent woman said...

We have a crazy health care system, that's for sure. I have insurance, but it barely covers anything. I don't know what I'd do if I had cancer.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Maggie,

That is a sad situation. I don't know anything about the US but would go with what expatmum suggests as she knows the system out there.

My heart goes out to her and her son. My fingers are crossed that she will find a way to resolve this. Hadriana x

Suldog said...

I think the set of circumstances you describe is, indeed, unusual. There may be a few others with that same set of circumstances, but I wouldn't bet on it.

What to do for insurance/medical here, in the USA? If she wasn't previously covered - which, I gather, she wasn't - then I'm at a loss. I'm not saying there are no options, as I'm sure there must exist charitable organizations or some arm of the government to whom she could turn for some surcease. However, insofar as anything comparable to the UK plan, not unless she had insurance through an employer.

If the father of her son is employed and insured, did he ever purchase insurance for all of them under a family plan? Or have same given him as a perquisite of employment? If so, she may still qualify for treatment under that, even though he decided to leave her. What was their actual relationship - married, or just cohabitating? If married, she would likely have more rights.

Sorry to hear of this, in any case. The best I, personally, can do is to pray. And I will as soon as I post this.

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