I believe basic healthcare should be a fundamental American right.
Not one citizen in this country should suffer from the lack of healthcare provided to them in their time of need. Especially in a country like the United States. The United States has the technology and the resources to accomplish this. However, universal healthcare is looked at as a way accomplish a goal on a political agenda. Universal healthcare shouldn’t be about that. To put healthcare in the most simple terms, it saves lives and gives afflicted people a chance to live. As a result of the healthcare provided to my grandfather in his time of ailment, he has been able to live and continue to affect peoples lives positively. He especially impacted my life.
My grandfather, William Fleming, was the epitome of what most people would call a self made man. Some of the jobs he had ranged from, working at a bank, to being employed by the United States Postal Service, to owning a bar for a short period of time. You could and still can always depend on my grandfather to have a generous heart and lend a hand to someone in a time of need. His generosity stretched far beyond just my mother and grandmother, he was the stability for a lot of people in his family. He always puts other people’s needs desires before his own.
Standing at six feet and two inches tall, weighing about 260 pounds my grandfather was not in the most ideal health before he was sick, but he was active. While maintaining two jobs he still find time to have a full schedule every week. He found time to babysit older brother William and I when my parents were busy or to possibly make a 76ers game because he was a season ticket holder. He was not a complainer when it game to getting care of his family. It was when he applied for his job at the United States Postal Service my grandfather discovered he had high blood pressure and early stages of diabetes. This was the first health complication that he ever had. After making some minor changes to his diet and routine doctors thought he could fix this problems on his. However, in the following months, he took another physical in January 2000 that found he had prostate cancer.
My grandfather was admitted to the hospital following the diagnosis and doctors searched for possible options to treat his cancer. After careful consideration, doctors and my family agreed to treat my grandfathers prostate cancer with surgery to remove the cancer. During the operation there was a mistake during the procedure which created more complications for my grandfather. He was now paralyzed below the waist and had acute kidney failure. As a result of his kidney failure the fluid in his body would puddle in certain areas of his body. He would eventually develop cellulitis. In addition to those devastating things, the doctors determined my grandfather had rhabdomyolysis, which is a disease that breaks muscle in the body. The breakdown of the muscle attacked his failing kidneys. After the doctors were able to stabilize my grandfathers health and help him get use to life without his legs he was sent home in early summer 2000.
My grandfather never stopped fighting to get his life back to what it was before his diagnosis. Even though doctors told him For the first months when my grandfather returned home he was bed ridden and living in the dining room of his home. Then with the help of family members he was able to start standing up but not walking. As his legs got stronger he was able to gain more independence. Things like driving, going up and down stairs without assistance, and using the bathroom were all things he taught himself how to do again. My grandfather was a good example of someone did not accept the circumstances he was in and persevered through the toughest dilemma in his life
Since he returned home in the summer of 2000 my grandfather has needed consistent medical attention. By the grace of God, he was able to start walking, driving, and regain some independence in the last seventeen years. However, he has frequent check ups, takes several medications daily and receives dialysis three times a week to retain his level of health. I don’t know a person that has benefitted more from affordable healthcare than my grandfather. Without healthcare he would have never been able to impacted the many lives he has. His story should be a reminder of the opportunity a longer life can give us. In the near future, I hope all Americans will still be able to obtain affordable healthcare.