- Leslie Elder was always a fighter. But in a message to a friend in the waning days of her life, she seemed exhausted.
The note, written at a time of spiritual darkness, suggested defeat after a decades-long struggle for medical coverage.
"I honestly don't know how much more I can endure," Elder wrote earlier this year in a Facebook message to her friend Liz Jacobs. "I am fighting for (Medicaid) and disability. I can't work I sit in bed I cry a lot. I am still fighting for healthcare and still fighting foreclosure.
"I am so upset but perhaps it was not meant to be. I don't know anything anymore," said Elder, who died in July at age 63 without insurance coverage.
As she typed the note, Elder could scarcely breathe. Her lungs had filled with fluid over several months; her respiratory system was shutting down. After visits to the emergency room and several free clinics, Elder was finally diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
But what makes her family bristle: Elder did not have to die.
If she had had health care, "Absolutely she'd still be here," said Jacquelyn Elder, Leslie's daughter, adding that Hodgkin's lymphoma has a high survival rate. "That is something really hard to deal with."
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment