No one else to ask

Henri Dixon

Charity Care

Family away from home

Getting beyond the red tape

Getting to graduation

Small costs in large numbers

No one else to ask

Henri Dixon’s job as a truck driver supported the family and covered taxes and tithes.

What his wife Abigail had—food, love, time, energy—she gave away to her family, church, and community. She even took in children who needed a home, asking nothing in return. Everyone in the Atlanta Jamaican community adored her.

When her moment of crisis arrived last November—a blinding headache, a frantic trip to Emory University Hospital, major loss of physical and cognitive function—dozens of those whom she had helped for years encircled her with love and support. During the three months she remained hospitalized, her husband took off work to be at her side, giving up the house, moving the family in with friends. He could not understand why she sometimes opened her eyes but never seemed to see him, nor why the doctors, nurses, and social workers kept helping her, without asking for anything in return.

There was no one to ask. Had the 40-year-old woman already been a citizen, not just a legal resident, Medicaid would have paid some of the costs of her care. Had she worked for pay, she might have become eligible for federally mandated Emergency Medical Assistance for persons qualified for Medicaid in all ways except citizenship. The brain hemorrhage had not waited, however, so it fell to Emory to provide more than $600,000 in emergency care and hospitalization—and to keep on paying.

Last March, the team told her husband that the hospital had done all it could, that Abigail would require 24-hour care. Dixon wanted to take her home but knew he did not have the resources there to care for her—nor the stunning amount of money a nursing home would cost. Emory Hospital worked out an agreement to pay these costs—some $150,000 per year—for his wife to live in Budd Terrace skilled nursing facility at Wesley Woods, part of the Emory Healthcare complex. It was the kind of thing Abigail herself would have done.


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