Wreck kills Castleberry man

Published 11:05 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news reporter
Mother's Day weekend doesn't hold the happiest memories for Debra Johnson Armstrong.
Armstrong has spent the better part of this week in Birmingham where she has undergone a variety of tests that will place her on the list of people waiting for a chance at a liver transplant.
Armstrong is suffering from psoriasis of the liver which came about as a result of her contracting hepatitis C in 1995.
Armstrong said the disease was put into remission on a couple of occasions through the use of chemotherapy.
There is no question about whether to have the transplant or not. The only question facing Armstrong now is how to pay for the procedure.
After a compatible donor of a liver is found, the procedure to have the organ transplanted will be very costly.
Follow-up treatment customary after a transplant operation will be costly - for the rest of her life.
Finding that amount of money to pay for any medical expenses could be a difficult task, but Armstrong's task may be harder than most.
Twenty percent may not sound like a lot for many people. Armstrong is looking at a minimum of almost $86,000 in medical costs just through the transplant. After that, a cost of more than $5,000 will be hitting her for anti-rejection drugs alone. If Medicare ceases to help with those expenses after the first year or so, she will be looking at the full $27,000 a year on her own.
Living on Social Security disability benefits as her only source of income may cause Armstrong some problems in meeting those medical expenses, not to mention the expenses of getting to and from Birmingham for treatment, testing, procedures and follow-up care.
A special benefit will be held on Sunday, June 24, at the East Brewton Civic Center beginning at 10 a.m. with a yard sale. The events for the day will also include an auction beginning at 1 p.m. with lunch plates being sold from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cindy Phelps is coordinating the event and is happy with the response of the people in Brewton so far.
For those who are not able to attend the special benefit on Sunday, a special account has been established at the Bank of Brewton.
Contributions to the Debra Armstrong Benefit Fund can be made at any Bank of Brewton location.

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