North Texas Daily

Friends of UNT student raise money for medical bills

Friends of UNT student raise money for medical bills

February 04
23:46 2010

By Jessica Paul / Staff Writer –

Jacob Green had reason to be more thankful than most last Thanksgiving.

The history sophomore spent the better half of the holiday under surgery for five hours in New York City.

His swollen eye had originally been diagnosed as allergy-related.

“It seemed like they were putting a Band-Aid over the problem,” he said.

(Video by Clinton Lynch)

But when Green got to New York during Thanksgiving break, he said his eye swelled shut completely.

“Extremely painful, headache, really bad. Worse that I’d ever experienced,” he said. “I kind of put it off for a few days, and finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.”

Emergency care

Green went to a free health clinic recommended by a friend because he did not have health insurance. There, doctors ran a scan on him.

“What they showed was that there was a hole on the inner skull behind the sinus cavity,” Green said. “The doctor brought me in after he did the CAT scan and he was pointing out a black spot. He was like, ‘You see that? That should all be white. That’s bad, this is very serious. We’re going to take you by ambulance to a hospital to possibly have surgery on you immediately.’”

Green was transferred to Beth Israel Medical Center in New York where doctors ran tests on him.

“They ran this thing up my nose, prodding the inner cavity,” Green said. “It was extremely painful.”

The doctor told him he had an infection behind his eye with an abscess that they needed to remove as well as repair the backside of his sinus cavity with a sheet of mesh metal.

The doctors decided to perform surgery immediately, so Green was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, for surgery with five different doctors on Thanksgiving Day.

“So what they did was they made an incision, peeled down the face, and made a chunky incision into the skull and removed it, and then did their business on the eyeball,” Green said. “Then, they reinforced that part with the mesh metal, put my skin back together. Eighty staples.”

‘Back on track’

Green was hospitalized for about 20 days, 10 days in New York City and then 10 more days in a hospital in Texas.

“The first thing I wanted to do was to go back to normal. I couldn’t do the normal things that I did right away,” Green said. “I couldn’t do sports or drink beer or anything like that right away. I wanted to get back to that normal life.”

Green had advice for students concerning health-related emergencies like his.

“If you don’t have health insurance, you’re pretty much limited to acting on situations like this in emergency-type settings only, which is what happened to me,” Green said. “Because it was an emergency, I would say get a job with health insurance and act on your situations as quickly as possible. That’s the only thing you can do. But if you can’t afford health insurance, then I really have no words of wisdom.”

Because Green was unable to complete his classes from the fall semester, he was forced to take an incomplete in every class.

“If I really put the pedal to the metal this semester, I can be back on track,” he said.

Concert for the costs

Green’s friend Tyler Adams decided to set up a benefit show for Green to raise money for the hospital and surgery expenses.

“I know Tyler. He’s in one of the bands playing at the show,” Green said. “He’s a good friend of mine. He said he had a few family members with brain problems that didn’t make it out like I did. He didn’t want to see anything like that happen. He just wanted to act as soon as possible.”

Green said he was humbled by the fact that so many of his friends were going to be driving in from all over Texas to come support him.

“I feel proud to have friends like that,” Green said.

Elizabeth Sterling, an interior design freshman, said she was interested in going to the benefit Saturday night to help support the cause.

“I think it’s really cool that his friend is doing this for him, and I would definitely be interested in going and helping out with an event like that,” Sterling said. “If the same thing happened to me, it’s cool to know that as a student body, we can help.”

Sterling said she can sympathize with Green for the financial challenges he faces.

“I guess we’ve just kind of come to that point in our lives where we have to take responsibility for health stuff and health issues, so I can sympathize with this guy,” Sterling said. “It’s kind of the first time that, individually, we’re having to think of these things, financial aspect-wise. Emergencies come up and they’re unexpected, so I think it’s great that the students can pull together and his friends are active and inclined to help out in this way.”

As for his relationships with his parents and girlfriend, Green says the event has brought them closer.

“I think it brought me closer to my parents,” Green said. “They were forced to fly up there, Thanksgiving Day. They were up there by my side after surgery.

I think we were kind of going through a slump at that point in my relationship with them.

It definitely brought us closer together.

It definitely brought me and my girlfriend closer together in more ways than one, because now I live with her. We’re kind of constantly together. It’s a good thing.”

A variety of bands from Denton will be performing including Cartwright, The Young and Brave, Dust Congress, No Heroes, and Fire Nation. The concert is Saturday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios at 411 E Sycamore St.

The doors open at 9 p. m. All proceeds will go to helping Green.

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