This is Lynn Strickling. What if she was your mom?
This is Lynn Strickling. What if she was your mom?

This is my mom. Her name is Lynn Strickling and she is sixty six years old. She was at one time in her life, a genius. She went to Brown University when she was 17 years old. She hitch hiked across Africa in her thirties, skied the matterhorn and knew Hunter S. Thompson. She was every bit the person you would want to know, and everybit the person anyone would want to read about.

Then ended twenty three years ago when we ran into a semi trailer and sixty miles at 60 miles an hour. My moms face collided with wind shield and sheared half of her face off. It destroyed her teeth and laserated her eyes... and it took her mind.

My dad was driving. He was okay and so was I. But my mom... The earliest memory I have is that night, and all I can remember is screaming. When I woke up they told me my mom had a head injury and that she would never be the same again. A happy future for all us died that day.

My dad was driving the car and the guilt drove him insane. The last time I saw him was when I was twelve years old. We went from having a nice home and friends and soccer days to standing in our yard with all of our things strewn on the grass. My dad was gone. Our house was repocessed and we became homeless. This is when I was in highschool.

When the crash first happened my moms teeth were badly damaged. They received comprehensive reconstructive surgery. Since the absense of my father and all forms of income, they have slowly rotted away inside of her mouth. The artifical teeth given to her by the dentists began to wear away, then crack, and then fall out of her mouth.

The raw nerves of my mothers teeth now jut into her open mouth.

Throughout the process we were always too poor to get them fixed. My mother always chose to buy us food or clothes instead of going to the dentist. Since then the damage has eroded away what was left, and gone from something that was relatively inexpensive and preventative, to complete reconscruction of her jaw.

She needs teeth extracted, root canals, reconstructive bone surgery and months of follow up work to get to the point she needs to be.

Because of wounds in her mouth left over by her decaying teeth, she is also unable to walk. My moms hips are both destroyed and need surgery, but because of the risk of infection is so high in her mouth, she is unable to have the surgery. She's on crutches now and if she doesn't get the surgery soon the legs in her muscles will shrink and make it almost impossible to walk ever again.

The horror story of my mom's journey through my adolescent life is one tradgedy. She was and is a good woman. Endeavored help those around her. Even though now she lives on food stamps she always calls me to tell me to make sure I text ten dollars for Sandy victims or Haitii, and "Oh no honey don't worry about it I'll pay for it." She has been trapped in the viscious circle of the public health care system, unable to get her legs fixed so she can work and pay for her teeth and unable to get her teeth fixed so she can get legs to work.

That is the world she lives in. Throughout my entire life my mom has tried to everything she can to battle pain, her husband, the healthcare system and the world in general to still be there for us. She sacrificed everything to make sure my sister and I were still loved.

This woman deserves to be able to smile again, and not live her life in agony because of technicalities and failed social systems. She is on one side of an arbitrary line and she has suffered for a decade because of it. She deserves everything she needs to live the rest of her life in comfort and I don't make enough money to help support and save up the money needed to pay the staggering cost of all the surgery she will need.

Please help her because she kind and shes wonderful and she was everything to her kids that she could be.

But help her also because you have a mom and think of hor your heart would feeling when every time you see her she refuses to smile out of shame and self hatred.

Please. I have tried every foundation, fund, charity, television show, and avenue I can think of.


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