Story Bank: Donna Wall, Lewiston

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Donna Wall, 60, Lewiston

Donna Wall is a round-the-clock caregiver for her three adult children living with autism. When Donna’s two sons turned 18 years old, she lost MaineCare eligibility.

Each night, when her children are sleeping, Donna goes to work as a newspaper carrier.

During Donna’s overnight, four-mile newspaper route, she has to be aware of her surroundings at all times. In the winter, she has to be especially careful of ice patches that are invisible by night. In 2016, Donna tripped and fell on her chest, potentially fracturing a rib. When time allows, Donna donates plasma to help supplement her income, but still cannot afford health insurance.

Donna has forgone medical care for her anxiety and necessary annual eye exams. Fearful of extraneous health care bills, she has not received attention for any of her medical needs. 

In December 2017, Donna slipped on ice and broke her ankle, making it impossible for her to go back to work. Donna is still recovering from her ankle surgery and is now $52,000 in medical debt. When MaineCare expansion is fully implemented on July 2, 2018, she will have access to health insurance through MaineCare. But like many Mainers, expansion cannot come quick enough.