“It shouldn’t be this way,” read the subject line of an email I received Friday morning from a conservative friend and fellow Southerner. “People shouldn’t have to beg for money to pay for medical care.”
At first, I thought he was referring to my column last week in which I wrote about the fundraising effort to cover the bills, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, that the husband of Canadian skier Sarah Burke is now facing. Burke died on January 19, nine days after sustaining severe head injuries in a skiing accident in Park City, Utah. I noted that had the accident occurred in Burke’s native Canada, which has a system of universal coverage, the fundraiser would not have been necessary.
But my friend was not writing about Sarah Burke. He wanted to alert me to another fundraiser, this one on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, to help pay for the mounting medical expenses for a beautiful 13-year-old girl fighting for her life at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Ala.
In late November, Caroline Richmond was rushed to the hospital after collapsing on the way home from school. Doctors quickly determined she’d had a stroke and required immediate surgery. The bad news just kept coming. The ...