Oct 31, 2020 Latest post:
Nov 18, 2020
Summary: This is John Losee on behalf of Richard Brooke. Richard needs immediate medical intervention to treat infection in his gums and teeth, which could spread and be fatal. There are a few options for him between dentures, implants, and crowns/bridges, but as of Oct 21 he should be getting a top denture and have his top teeth removed on Nov 5-6. As of Oct 24, most of his doctors agree that he needs implants. He's still trying to figure out his out of pocket costs but it could range from a few thousand to tens of thousands. He has many underlying conditions that make this more dire, including HIV, brain tumor, and various spine/neurological/immune problems. He's waiting to hear if he'll get disability insurance which would cover much of these costs, but it's very much an unknown. Please pray for Richard and if you are able please consider donating to his teeth/gum procedures. Thank you so much!
Hello, this is John Losee, a close friend of Richard Brooke. Richard is 34 and lives in Utah. He is experiencing a dire need for surgical removal of teeth as well as some combination of dentures, crowns, and/or implants. He is currently fighting for his life while exploring his options with various dentists, endodontists, and oral surgeons and insurance plans. We're not exactly sure yet what the out of pocket costs will be, but we've gotten some quotes and are closer to those answers. As of Oct 24, most of his doctors agree that he needs implants.
Currently, there are a number of major issues that Richard is dealing with. He has an infection in his gums and teeth that he is on antibiotics for; he must get his top row of teeth removed now, and the bottom row are bad enough that they will need to be removed soon as well. He is currently expecting to receive a top denture on Nov 5 and then have the top teeth removed on Nov 6. However, depending on the severity of the infection, he may need to have the teeth removed sooner. His doctors have had somewhat different opinions, but as far as I know they all agree that he needs dentures and/or implants as soon as possible; both his surgeon and his immune disease doctor agree that he needs implants. There is the possibility of complications with both dentures and implants. Dentures are cheaper, but implants generally seem to be longer lasting. Additionally, he will most likely need to have bone grafts to help support his jaws. Any time that he spends without teeth or replacements leads to recession of the jaw bone, which in itself can be deadly.
Underlying these issues with his gums, jaws, and teeth are a host of other disorders and diseases. Most urgently, he has a brain tumor that, while thankfully seems benign, could be contributing to or causing his headaches/migraines, nausea, diarrhea, seizures, and more. His neurologist wants to monitor it for now, but it certainly makes things more complicated, especially because of the proximity to the infection in his mouth. He also has HIV, which means that his window for getting treatment is shorter and more urgent; it's harder for his body to overcome illness on its own and therefore he requires other treatments. Unfortunately, though his medications are helping his immunity, they may be adversely affecting other parts of his body. Richard also has a fused C1-C3 in his vertebrae, paranasal sinus disease, a mal-rotated kidney, and spinal canal stenosis, which causes narrowing of the spinal column. He was born with in vitro lead poisoning, spina bifida, hip displacia, club foot, and seizures (it's possible he's had the brain tumor from birth or childhood). Richard has ADHD, severe depression and anxiety, suicidal thoughts, bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, and other behavioral/mental disorders.
All of these conditions together have made life extremely difficult for him, and especially now when his oral infection is threatening other parts of his body. Please prayerfully consider contributing to Richard's medical out of pocket needs. At this time, after insurance, we expect implants for the top and bottom rows to be about $8500 each. Dentures are cheaper, but that is only possible for the top row. He should have a cost estimate for the dentures on Nov 5. There is another option of removing his current bridges and crowns to treat the infection and then getting new ones, which would at least be cheaper than implants on the top and bottom. So between the teeth removal, bone grafts, dentures and/or implants, he's looking at multiple thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars after insurance. We will update the goal amount as we learn more. Anything you are able to provide would go toward helping Richard and his family decide which route to take, and help put their minds at ease.
Importantly, he has been applying for disability insurance for a number of years but has been denied. He is currently waiting on an answer for the most recent application, and that could take months. If he did receive it, he would likely have enough to cover all or most of these procedures. Please pray for wisdom and compassion for those who are deciding his case, and please pray for patience and understanding for Richard regardless of the outcome. He has a loyal dog named Zeus that he doesn't want to go without his best friend. His family is trying to support him as they can, and many of his friends (including myself) live in Georgia. This makes it more difficult for us to support him, but we hope and pray for him from afar. The scripture that I have held onto for more than a year is John 15:13-- "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for his friends." If I have the capability, I want to do what I can to help Richard.
Thank you for your consideration, and thank you for your prayers and donations. God bless!