Sweet Home woman fighting liver rejection

Woman fights liver rejection

As of May 31, Linda Paddock’s health insurance from her work lapsed, and she doesn’t know yet whether Oregon Health Plan is going to cover her as she fights her own body’s rejection of a transplanted liver.

Paddock is also attempting to draw Social Security disability, but hasn’t succeeded yet.

A victim of Hepatitis C as a young child, probably from a blood transfusion at five days old, she had a liver transplant on May 1, 1989.

“I was doing fine up until the first of the year,” Paddock said. She had to take 20 pills a day, an assortment that cost hundreds of dollars per month; but she didn’t have insurance or money to cover it at the time and was unable to stay on her medication.

Her body has been rejecting her liver since Easter. Since then, she has spent some 35 days in the hospital and had five liver biopsies.

Doctors are hoping medication that she’s taking now will help her. She has a pick line to her heart where medication is injected and blood is drawn every two days to monitor her condition. Doctors hope that will turn her around by the end of a year. Every 72 hours, she has an IV treatment.

“I haven’t worked since before the middle of May,” Paddock, 52, said. Even if she had work, she still has copayments that add up to $400 with or without insurance each month. Social Security will provide some $617 total if she qualifies.

Paddock worked for Cirtek Manufacturing before going to work in quality control at Mega Tech of Corvallis. She worked there for three months.

“I think the day I got my insurance is the day I ended up in the hospital,” Paddock said.

Paddock was born and reared in Sweet Home. Paddock Lane is named for her grandfather who had a homestead there. She was graduated from Sweet Home High School.

She is divorced and single. She has three children, including Gary Boer of Creswell, Tammy Cooper of Sweet Home and James McClintock of Ft. Hood, Texas. She has four grandchildren and one on the way.

Her family, especially her parents and brothers, has supported her through this, different members of her family staying with her to help out at home. She has aunts and uncles who stop in and check on her every day.

“It’s the waiting game now,” Paddock said as far as medical coverage and her condition. She must go back to Portland in July to visit a specialist unless, locally, something is found in her blood tests before then.

Dealing with the liver problems, the transplant and now the rejection has changed the way Paddock looks at life.

She deals with it “one day at a time,” she said. “I get stressed out, but I’ve got friends that call me all the time, which helps out.”

She was told at one point, a week before the transplant, that she should have been dead.

“I told them I wasn’t ready yet because I had kids I’ve got to raise,” Paddock said. “Now, I’ve got grandkids. I’m not ready to leave yet. If you have it in your mind you want to stay, and it’s a good reason, you’re going to beat it.”

An account is available for persons wishing to assist Paddock at Linn-Co Credit Union in Sweet Home. Persons interested in helping Paddock or more information are welcome to contact her at 367-8788 or 2009 18th Ave.