Canadian Healthcare Saved Our Son's Life #DAresists #Medicare4all

I am a U.S. citizen who moved to Toronto in 1980 to attend graduate school. While there, I met and married my husband, who was a seminary student at the time. In 2010, our nineteen-year-old son was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. Although the tumor was benign, it was compressing his brain stem, and required complicated surgery in two stages. Two full days' use of an operating room and three surgeons were required, so there was a slight delay until the necessary scheduling could be worked out. From the time of his diagnosis until his surgery took place was only a matter of six weeks. He was hospitalized for two weeks, then had six weeks of radiation a year later, and has had a series of MRIs and follow-up appointments at regular intervals ever since. I would not be able to begin to estimate the cost of his medical care over the past eight years - and the ongoing care he will need for the rest of his life. In all this time, the only bill we ever received was for the rental of a TV while he was in the hospital. We are a single income clergy couple, with a daughter who has her own medical concerns, so we would have been bankrupted several times over had we not had Canada's universal health care. I am happy to say that our son went on to graduate with honors from the University of Waterloo, and now works full time for a computer software company in Toronto. He will always have some disabilities as a result of the tumor, as well as the surgery and radiation. But for now, he is doing well. I'd like to conclude with a story told to us by one of our son's surgeons, who did a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford. He had operated on a man who developed complications, and required additional surgery. As the man was being wheeled down to the operating room, a message was received from his health insurance provider, stating that the gentleman had maxed out his insurance coverage. The hospital staff were advised to take the man back to his room and discharge him. At that point, our doctor decided that he would return to Canada to pursue his medical career. Based on our family's experience, I cannot imagine living in a country without universal health care.