POUGHQUAG, N.Y. -- For the Tracey family of Poughquag, 2015 has been a difficult year.
Family member Dayle Tracey recalled that her paternal grandmother died in February due to pancreatic cancer. The situation worsened on a Friday in April, the day before the memorial service, when her father, David, was severely injured as his vehicle struck a tree along Route 55.
Tracey, who recalled that her father apparently had a blackout that led to the collision, said that he sustained brain injury and had trouble walking.
“He injured himself pretty badly,” she said.
David Tracey would spend the first two months hospitalized before moving into rehab, which he left in November. His injuries also meant that he could no longer care for his wife, Donna, who has had a condition called Friedreich ataxia for 43 years. The condition, in turn, triggered diabetes, which led to cirrhosis decades later, Dayle Tracey recalled.
In response, Dayle Tracey and her sister would take care of their parents during the night when they got off from their jobs. Their brother, who quit his job to assist the parents, did so in addition to raising his three children, although the commitments pertaining to the latter limited time that would be given to the former.
As a result, a home healthcare aide was hired, a decision was became costly because insurance would not cover the service for the Traceys.
Fortunately for the family, they received support.
To help with the family's expense, Dayle Tracey said that a GoFundMe page was set up by Gary Walsh, a brother of one of Donna Tracey's friends as the family was facing a Dec. 11 deadline to get funding for continued home assistance.
The family received good news: they were able to obtain enough funds to continue with the service.
“It took the weight off our shoulders," Dayle Tracey said.
The aide will be replaced, however, as she is leaving on Jan. 11 to start a new job, Dayle Tracey added.
While the New Year will bring a measure of certainty for the Traceys, it is unclear how long the funding will last; the family is continuing to seek donations.
For now, however, the focus can be directed towards providing the care itself.
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