ROXBURY, NJ – The brisk weather of October might be refreshing to some, but it mostly brings fear to the financially strapped family of Landing resident Bill Sexton.
Already unable to afford sufficient medical treatment for Sexton, who “cracked open” his head three years ago when he dove into Lake Hopatcong and hit a rock, winter means somehow finding money to heat their home.
“With the weather getting colder, we are going to have trouble getting oil for our oil heating system,” said Sexton’s wife, Heather. “Due to his illness and weight loss, Bill is already cold all the time and the winter hasn’t even started.”
The Sextons are swallowing their pride and asking for assistance through an online fundraising site. The GoFundMe page, launched about a month ago, has generated about $4,400 in donations. The Sextons are hoping to raise $12,000.
Heat is one thing. Food is another. Due to Sexton’s inability to work, and a continuing battle with the Social Security Administration – which has yet to approve the man for disability payments – the Sextons were forced to use the Roxbury Food Pantry.
“Bill actually just went to the doctor last week and he had lost five more pounds and his weight was already an issue,” said Heather Sexton, a nurse at St. Barnabas Medical Center. “We get food every two weeks from the food pantry in Roxbury. We really do appreciate the help. It is limited, though. It’s mostly dry food and canned foods. There is no protein, dairy, fruit or fresh vegetables.”
She said her husband’s doctors say Sexton, 48, needs to have MRI scans of his head. However, the scans cannot take place unless a spine nerve stimulator is removed, a procedure that Sexton’s health insurance company has refused to cover because it deems the removal to be elective, not vital, surgery, said Sexton’s daughter, Amanda.
She said she finds it hard to believe that her father, who worked for almost 30 years for the same company (Sodexo) “isn’t even being considered for disability when the man would love to go back to work tomorrow if he could.”