November 28, 2014

Elyria
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Public answers call for help

WELLINGTON – A Wellington man dealing with the aftermath of cancer and a mountain of unpaid medical and personal bills has his granddaughter to thank for the assistance coming his way from a handful of Lorain County residents.

A letter from Ashley Teter, 10, was the basis for a story Friday in The Chronicle-Telegram. In it, she asked for help for her grandpa and grandma.

STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE
A letter from 10-year-old Ashley Teter (left) to ask for help for her grandparents has gotten some response.

Ashley`s grandfather, Roy Teter, 55, was diagnosed with mouth and throat cancer four months ago, and underwent a number of surgeries that racked up massive medical bills.

He didn`t have medical insurance. As a self-employed truck driver, he`d have to pay for it from his own pocket, and Willa Teter, Roy`s wife, said the family couldn`t afford the premiums. It would have cost $300 a month for Roy alone; nearly $700 a month for both of them, she said.

Roy underwent surgery in which doctors removed part of his jawbone and replaced it with a bone from his leg.

He was released from the hospital three weeks ago, but it`ll be another four to six months before he can receive Medicaid and at least a year before he`s up and walking, Willa said. The family has since received a foreclosure notice, and they`re also working on selling off many of their possessions to help pay the bills.

A number of local residents called and offered to donate a hospital bed to the family, since the hospital wouldn`t deliver a bed unless it was paid for in full.

Members of the LaGrange Church of God are planning to host a fundraiser for Roy Teter and his family.

Updates on those plans can be checked at www.lagrangechurchofgod.com, said Steven Asbury, a pastor at the church.

Employees at Invacare Corp. – as well as a number of residents – offered to donate hospital beds to the family, while a local Shane`s Furniture has offered to deliver the bed, wherever it comes from.

“We`ve received so many calls today,” said Willa, sounding exhausted and shy.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.