Families in Midlothian joined together to help a local teacher, Jennifer Campbell, who needed new prosthetics for her legs. Now, she’s standing tall and advocating against insurance companies that deny aid to those in need.
In 2014, Campbell was in great health at the age of forty. Then, on December 10, she was diagnosed with the flu. Within days, the seasonal flu had triggered sepsis, the body’s extreme response to infection. Sepsis can lead to tissue and organ damage and, possibly, death.
Campbell was placed in the ICU in a medically induced coma, with only a 10% chance of survival. Within two weeks, her fingers were black and shriveled. As reported by Texas Breaking Daily, over the course of a year, doctors had to amputate every single fingertip, her right leg below the knee, and her left foot. But she survived.
Campbell said, “My first instance of needing to figure something out, I had dropped a penny on the floor. Something so simple, but without fingertips, I could not pick up the penny. I was alone and started to cry. I told myself, ‘Jennifer, just find another way.’ I looked on the counter and there was an envelope. I took that envelope and scooped up the penny, and that was a defining moment for me.”
Thus began her new life motto: “find another way” to tackle life’s battles. It’s a life lesson that she shares with her students at J.R. Irvin Elementary School.
Now, years later, she found herself facing another battle. Her prosthetics had become worn down and would fall off, preventing her from walking. She was confined to a wheelchair because her health insurance denied her new prosthetics three times.
“They told me over the phone ‘a prosthetic is not a need. It’s a want. You can just use your chair,'” Campbell shared. “I said ‘I want lawmakers to use their chair and put an end to discrimination against the handicapped community.'”
When she shared her story about insurance on social media, her local community banded together to do what the insurance company would not. They raised $52,000 in donations to purchase the new prosthetics.
Since the amount is double what she needed for the new prosthetics, Campbell plans to contribute the rest of the money towards a non-profit organization that benefits amputees.
Although Campbell is grateful for her new prosthetic legs, which she received around Christmas, she can’t help but think of others who may be facing a similar situation. She is working to “find another way” to prevent insurance companies from denying prosthetics or other medical treatments prescribed by doctors.