Hospital stay leaves woman in financial bind
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Thursday, December 13, 2012
12/13/12 at 8:33 AM
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It's a good thing Margaret Cole was on the phone when she passed out. Doctors said that if somebody hadn't known to check on her, she might not have survived.
Cole spent five days earlier this year in the ICU with heart problems. She remembers a lot of needle pricks and worrying about the future.
She hadn't had pain or experienced any other symptoms before she passed out.
"It just came out of nowhere," she said.
Cole had started a new job at the front desk of a hotel about six months earlier, and the benefits hadn't kicked in yet. She didn't get paid for the 11 days she wasn't able to work because of her time in the hospital.
She had been living paycheck to paycheck and that hiccup in income left her in a tough financial situation.
She doesn't have health insurance, although she's working to get some now. She hasn't even opened her medical bills.
"I know it's nothing I can take care of right now," she said.
She lives with her 19-year-old son, Stevie Cole, who is working on his GED. He would like to enroll in welding school if they can afford the tuition.
Cole spends a lot of time with her four grandchildren, who range in age from 2 to 12. She'd like to be able to buy them some presents for Christmas.
She thought about faith and family a lot when she was in the hospital.
"What's most important is family, and that's what you think about," she said. "Even if you're not doing it for yourself, you're doing it for your family."
When the situation gets tough, Cole said she just remembers how glad she is to be alive. She is taking it day by day and hoping that next year will be a better one.
"All I can do is look more to the future right now," she said.
About the Neediest Families Fund Drive
The Neediest Families Fund Drive was established in 1928 to provide assistance to families in need during the holidays and the coming year.
This year's goal is to raise $300,000 by Christmas Eve. Last year's goal was exceeded; $334,888 was raised.
Each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday through the holiday season, the Tulsa World will spotlight families chosen by The Salvation Army to receive help through this year's fund.
None of the money raised is used for administrative costs.
Cash is not given directly to the families. They are given vouchers for specific needs.
To help families such as the one featured today, send a check or money order to the Neediest Families Fund Drive, in care of the Tulsa World, P.O. Box 1770, Tulsa, OK 74102.
Donations are tax-deductible, and donors can be anonymous.
Original Print Headline: Hospital stay leaves woman in financial bind
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378
Margaret Cole lives with her son, Stevie Cole, 19, and is recovering from a recent hospital stay. They have been chosen for this year's Neediest Families Fund Drive. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World