Last Thursday night, my friend and fellow writer Eugene Ipavec (yesenixan
) had a terrible accident. Late at night, after his evening class at Irvine Valley College, Eugene departed for his home in Tustin, some ten miles away, on his gas-powered scooter. He never made it. He lost concentration and went over a curb. He lay there in great pain, by the side of the road, trying to get help, but, for a half-hour, no car stopped. When the police finally arrived, they called an ambulance to take him to Tustin Hospital, a small facility with basic emergency capabilities. Eugene was diagnosed with a large, complex vertical fracture of the tibia extending into the knee joint. Then the hospital found out that he had no money, no job, and no insurance. They patched him up with a splint and pushed him out the door.
Eugene lives with his elderly father in a Tustin trailer park. They have no money for the hospital's "services," the ambulance bill, or similar expenses. More troubling by far is his need to have an operation to put a pin in his leg; this could run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
I and others of Eugene's friends have been trying to connect him with local and state programs that might help with his medical expenses. These programs for the "indigent" -- MSI, MediCal, and so on -- are bureaucratic in the extreme. It will be months before they officially acknowledge his existence, let alone send any money his way.
Lisa Alvarez and I are working on setting up a trust account and a PayPal address to which money can be sent. I will post the information when it becomes available later this week. I hope that some of you can help.
If you have any questions about Eugene or his situation, contact me at jkcohen at pobox.com. Thank you.