Let's help a 28-year-old woman with total incapacity of work - Naerata Ometi MTÜ
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Let’s help a 28-year-old woman with total incapacity of work

Hello, dear friends!

We received a request for help from a 28-year-old woman. Here is her story:

”My situation is difficult. I have struggled with Type I Diabetes for 26 years. As of today, I am a diabetic with multiple complications (diabetic retinopathy – severe changes in the fundus, diabetic neuropathy – nerve damage, high cholesterol and high blood pressure). I have been issued with total incapacity of work and I should not be working at all – instead, I should be completely focused on my health and keeping my blood glucose levels stable. With such complications as I have, each case of higher blood glucose can end tragically (ex. stroke, heart attack, losing vision in my only seeing eye (it only has half its vision left anyway), kidney failure or having my legs amputated).

I am raising two sons alone. I need to pay the loans I took years ago to refurbish my home. My second child was born prematurely, and I took credit mostly for his benefit, so that I could fix the living spaces and get rid of mold.

My troubles began 5 years ago. My health was completely fine. I was living together with my husband and son in my own apartment and awaiting my second child. He was born 2,5 months too soon and during childbirth, there were changes in his brain caused by lack of oxygen. The doctors feared that he would not be able to walk. Fortunately he did, but he needs constant exercise to make his body stronger (he is very active, likes to run and play). We were in the hospital for several months. During this time, my older son was in the care of his grandmother.

When my new-born was a few months old, we were allowed out of the hospital, but since then, we have been visiting doctors very often. The child has also been suffering from various illnesses and he is always sick for a long time.

The father started to become more distant. Before my younger son was one year old, he decided to leave the family.

Parental benefits eventually ran out, but I was not able to place my 1,5-year-old prematurely born child, who was often sick and developmental delay, in kindergarten yet. This meant that I could not work. The father has sometimes helped with small amounts of money, mostly at the beginning, but has not helped much further. He finds time for his children once or twice per year. In recent years, he does not want to help us anymore.

We decided to sell our home and buy a cheaper living option, so that I would be able to earn extra money and live off of that for a while. Looking back at it, this was not a smart decision, but I did not see any other solution during that time. We got a new apartment in a nice village – the children love it. My older son started going to the local school and younger son in the local kindergarten. I was able to return to my previous job position in sales.

In time, our new apartment started to show its flaws: hidden mold and moisture. My younger son started constantly coughing, which has not completely stopped even by now. His lungs are weak anyway. I tried to repair my apartment myself, but it was too much for me. I contacted a home repair service company, who made a reasonable price offer, so I took out a loan to pay for the repairs. During this time, we lived temporarily at my mother’s place. During repairs, however, the costs suddenly multiplied.

Because the apartment was completely taken apart and I needed to return home (my mother lived elsewhere, away from my town), I took extra loans to finish off the repairs. Finally, the apartment was ready and we were able to return, but the monthly repayments had become too high for me. So that I would be able to pay for it all, I had to change jobs.

I started working at a gas station with 12 hour shifts, alternating day and night shifts. This meant that I needed to ask for my mother’s help with looking after my children once again, since I did not have a regular day job anymore. Working at the gas station, I was able to pay off my debt and utility bills, but nothing more was left. My health started to worsen because of constant pressure and a high workload. I was able to work there for one year, until a blood vessel burst under one of my retinas, so that my whole eye was filled with a bruise and I could not see through it. I had developed diabetic retinopathy, which quickly began to worsen. I took sick leave from work.

Since the spring of 2021, things have been moving very fast regarding my eyes. The first difficult operation for one eye was in June and for the other eye in August. There have since been 2 reoperations and there will be more.

Since then, I have been constantly struggling with my eyes, which takes up so much time: fundus lasers, intraocular injections, fundus operations (vitrectomy). There have been 4 operations in the past 9 months and they will continue. Any kind of physically straining activity is forbidden for me; I am not even allowed to bend over. It is of vital importance that I keep my blood glucose levels stable. This means that my daily schedule must be strictly uniform: I must walk and eat according to a rigid schedule every day. Thanks to this practice, my blood vessels remain strong, both in my eyes as well as the rest of my body and organs. This helps lower the risk of a stroke or heart attack.

In the spring of 2021, I applied in court for debt rescheduling, as to avoid payment difficulties. This was granted and instead of 1000 euros per month, I now have to repay only 381 euros per month to all banks in total.

I have not been able to work much anymore. During summer, I lost employment due to health reasons and I applied for unemployment benefits. In October, one month after another surgery, I found an interesting job at a shop. I liked it a lot, but my health condition was still unstable – this meant that I had to visit doctors in the capital city each week, and my sight has its ups and downs. One day, I may have small bubbles in front of my vision that inhibit me from reading; on another day, things may be fine. Because of this, I could not keep the job. Working long hours, my blood glucose levels were difficult to maintain at the optimal level anyway. In February, yet another job came to an end due to health reasons. This time, it was my employer who recommended focusing strictly on my health.

In March, I had another eye surgery. One of my eyes does not see sharply anymore, it just barely shows an image from the sides. My other eye allows me to write and read, but is no longer 100% sharp.

As of today, I am in the following situation: I am once again on unemployment benefits, but my work insurance is soon ending. Once this happens, I will be unable to pay off my debt, which is 381,01 euros per month for 4 years (remaining 18408,48 euros). My other bills (utility bill, television, phone service, children’s hobby activities, kindergarten, food etc.) I am able to pay from my other income sources (disability benefits, parental benefits, state-sponsored child support).

I feel that I have run out of options; this is why I decided to turn to you for help as a last resort. If I could lower my debt burden or get rid of loan obligations, I would be able to live peacefully with my children. I hope that my funduses stabilize enough that I do not have to visit doctors every week in the capital anymore, and also that I could find a new and suitable job, even if it is part-time.

Currently, I feel as if I am locked in a vicious cycle: constant worrying about my debt has a toll on my health and stops me from fully recovering and focusing on my health, and the other way around – because of ill health, I am not able to meet my debt payments nor work. I wish that my children have a mother that can be there for them for as long as possible.

If anyone is able to help us, I would be grateful from the bottom of my heart. I also hope that my story is something you can learn from.”

Dear friends! Let us help this family out of their difficult situation together. Every donation will help the young mother focus on getting her health back in order, so that she can work towards a fulfilling life for both her and her children.

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