Lets show the government what it means to love our kids.
What a mom of 5 thinks about the AHCA.
When I run — I think of Ella.
When the music in my headphones fades into the background and the rhythm of my feet pounding on the pavement takes over — I think of Ella.
When I have time to myself and for a few moments I’m not worried about the immediate needs of my four sons — I think of Ella.
Ella is my daughter.
She died of complications from a fetomaternal hemorrhage when I was 9 months pregnant. I think of her nearly every day.
I always think of her when I run.
At first, it made me sad that every run brings me back to her. I tried thinking of other things. What can I do with my boys today. What chores do I need my husband to take care of. What kind of new pie to bake. But it Just. Never. Worked.
It never worked because, when I’m most relaxed, I think of Ella. I think about how it’s unfair she isn’t here. I think about how people tell me Ella’s death wasn’t my fault. I think how on my best days I believe them (a little.) I also think of would have been going on in her life.
Ella would be 8.
She’d have bright blue eyes like three of her brothers.
She’d have that awkward smile kids have around 7 or 8. The one where some teeth are missing and others are too big for their face.
She’d look like her dad.
She’d be deaf.
Require a feeding tube.
Need botox injections so her muscles to relax and don’t get stuck in painful positions.
Need a special bed to avoid sores on her body.
Need somebody to monitor her 24/7.
Be admitted to the hospital frequently.
Go to the intensive care unit and be intubated for “common cold viruses.”
She would have a LOT of pre-existing medical conditions.
She would require amazing insurance. She would require secondary insurance. It would cost millions of dollars over the course of her lifetime to fund her medical needs.
I know this would have been Ella’s life because I’m a pediatrician. I work in a pediatric hospital. I see kids just like Ella, nearly every day I go to work.
If the current version of the GOP health care bill becomes law, millions of children like Ella — those with pre-existing medical conditions, will be in trouble.
Actually-it would be a disaster. Children like Ella, who have a multitude of medical problems are high utilizers of medical care. The AHCA limits their access to care. Poor access to care means children will die. You don’t need to be a doctor or a congressman or even a parent to understand that simple equation. If sick kids who need care can’t get it, they will die.
It’s that basic.
I have seen many children die. I held my own child while she died in my arms. No parent should have to live through that.
It’s just plain wrong.
I don’t have to fight this law. Ella is dead. It’s the most painful fact of my life. If she were alive, though, I would be fighting. And Ella is still my child. She will always be my child. My first born. My daughter. So I fight.
I’m fighting the only way I know how.
With my words.
And my time.
And my voice.
And my love for Ella that doesn’t know the boundaries of heaven and earth.
I will fight to the ends of the earth so that no parent, who is lucky enough to have their child to hug, has to worry about whether they can get the healthcare they need. I will fight because I have 4 other children, and nephews and nieces and patients who need me to. They need me because they don’t have a voice.
This is not a Democratic issue. This is not a Republican issue. This is about whether you think our kids deserve a chance to make it in this world. 217 people in congress thought children like Ella did not deserve a chance. It’s up to our senators to decide if they agree.
I beg you-if my story resonated with you-share your story. Share it with your friends. Share it with your family. Share it with your enemies. Share it with your congressman. Share it with your senators. Tag them and tweet them and Snapchat them and Call them and write them and fax them and email them and flood them with volume that they can’t handle.
It’s up to us to make them hear all the stories-like Ella’s.
Let them know that we’re going to fight for our kids.
Ella — Wherever you are, I love you. And I’m fighting for you.