Ringgold mom seeks job; help for desperately ill daughter
RINGGOLD, GA (WRCB) -- To clear her lungs and to guard against pneumonia, 3-year-old Jordyn Barker needs breathing treatments four times a day.
They're the *least* of her ordeals.
"She has a rare medical condition called Micro-Deletion Syndrome," her mother Melissa says.
"A chromosome was mal-formed. "She has extra fluid on her brain. She's missing a piece of her brain, she has heart problems, she has G-I (gastrointestinal) problems."
Some of the issues presented themselves 16 weeks into her pregnancy.
"Unfortunately, all of her problems are rolled in," her physical therapist Laurie McGee says.
"That's the syndrome."
Jordyn awaits surgery for scoliosis next month, for severe spinal curvature.
"If Medicaid agrees to pay for it," Melissa Barker says.
Melissa had supported Jordyn and two older daughters as an office manager for a lending company in Ringgold. Medical insurance premiums jumped from $300 to $800 a month, before she was fired at the end of April.
"I believe it was the absences, being out, to take care of her," Melissa says.
She'd based the family budget on a salary of $46,000 per year. Her unemployment benefits are $320 per week.
"She's going to need a bed to lay in after the surgery," Melissa says. "How do I pay for that?"
Jordyn's neurologist has told Medicaid officials that the little girl will need round-the clock care.
Medicaid provides nurses for 70 hours per week. Melissa and her oldest daughter, Courtny, 14, fill in the gaps.
"The jobs that are out there, pay $10 to $11 an hour, and its not enough," Melissa says.
She's looking for a day job so that she can take management courses at Dalton State in the evenings, to earn a Master's degree.
"It would open up more opportunities, better insurance. Their fathers are completely out of the picture."
But the immediate future appears difficult, if not dire.
"To get me by for the next 30 days, I would say $5000," she says.
"My house payments are several months past due."
Her home represents the largest lodestone. Her monthly mortgage is almost $1,000, she says. Summer electric bills have averaged more than $200. She has minimal equity, and a list of repairs.
"If I could sell it, and move to Tennessee, a lot of her (Jordyn's) expenses would be covered," Melissa says.
"She may need my care for the rest of her life. But we're hopeful that some of these conditions, can be fixed."