Help me survive with urgent eye, dental, & medical care

For: Chiyoko Yamasato
Los Angeles, CA
Organizer: Chiyoko Yamasato
Help me survive with urgent eye, dental, & medical care (Chiyoko Yamasato)
of $12,000 goal.
Raised by 195 donors
73% Complete

The Story

Hi everyone! I'm Chiyoko. It's hard for me to talk about this, but I am a survivor of severe abuse & human trafficking that left me with serious medical issues. m(._.)m

Ten years ago, I was told that laser eye surgery would be necessary to correct my deteriorating vision, and that it should be performed within ten years, considering the blood vessel blockages would make me blind. I also had emergency surgeries for sudden vision loss from both a retinal tear (from being hit) in 2013 and a blood vessel blockage in 2015. Due to the dryness of my eyes, the SMILE procedure (instead of LASIK) has been recommended as the only option for my eye conditions, (very dry). Over the course of many years, I have also needed multiple dental implants and other procedures due to violent incidents that broke several of my teeth.

2017 has had all of these problems come together at once. In February and April, the crowns on my teeth broke out suddenly, and the dentist informed me that I needed several thousand dollars in extractions, implants and bridge work. I have been chewing with temporaries hoping that they do not come out, and also constantly tasting blood as well as pain from them.

At the same time, my vision began to worsen and become blurry and narrower even when wearing my glasses or contacts, and increasing the priscriptions haven't changed/improved anything (and even that, I cannot afford to do anymore) due to the core problems. My vision, dental, and health issues (including several ovarian cysts and heart issues) are all complicated by severe PTSD, for which I see a number of specialists. (Severe enough to possibly stop my heart, put me in vegitative state etc.)

Then, last month, I was laid off from my job. I lost all my income and my health & dental insurance ended. I have tried to apply for Covered CA premium assistance but their system does not correctly recognize my status, so I may have to pay full price. Even with the assistance, I have no way to pay for the procedures and insurance that I need, or for my PTSD medications that run out this month.

So, I am asking for help with these problems. If you could contribute, your assistance will let me become closer to being able to get:
- SMILE eye surgery
- Dental work: Extractions, crown, Implants, bridgework, and a night guard (to protect my teeth)
- Medical insurance premiums ($200-350/month)
- Prescription medications for my condition(s) that let me be funtional enough to survive

After being saved from my traffickers in 2014, I had almost given up any hope. But over time I met lots of people who gave me strength and support to keep going! Even if you can't donate any money right now, please know that I still appreciate your support. You give me hope to keep working hard to stay alive. Thank you!! m(__)m

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 14, 2017


Posted on August 14, 2017

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since the last update!

I went to one-month post-op checkup, and they said that I was able to see 4 out 5 for 20/20.

They said that my vision will probably improve a little more once the dryness calms down.

The doctor put a tiny triangle piece (I couldn't catch the name) on the inner corners of my eyes. 

I was told that they are supposed to block tears from staying on the corners, so the tears can spread to cover more area of my eyes.

They are supposed to dissolve in a few weeks. It hurt a little bit when the doctor put them into my eyes with tweezers, but the pain went away within a few minutes after the treatment.

I'm going to meet them in mid September next time.

Being able to see everything without contacts feels amazing! My eyes don't hurt like they are constantly stabbed, or they aren't cloudy.

I am grateful for all of you who made this possible to do.

I am also going back to the dentist later this week for a followup.
I will let you know how that one goes as soon as possible as well!

Thank you so much!

Posted on July 22, 2017


Posted on July 22, 2017

Hello everyone!

I have an update!

First, as for my eyes, they are still sensitive and dry, but I can see much better, thanks to you!

As for dental, I went to Mexico this week to get my most recent treatments in order to save on costs ($200 instead of $400-1000+ in the US). I now have a night guard! For this, I was told that I have to come back every 4 weeks or so, and do laser therapy as frequently as possible. They said that I have to wear the appliance 24/7 except when I eat and drink because my TMJ is very severe due to stress. They also said that my bite is really deep (my upper teeth should only cover my lower teeth about 10%, but mine cover 80%), and that my upper and lower teeth have to be centered correctly, and that there is a high risk that any treatment (crown, bridge etc) would break like the most recent ones did if I don't treat the issue with braces. There is also other remaining dental work that has to be done as well; I have to replace 3-4 crowns (especially the one that's really affecting my bite) and a bridge eventually, as well as remove my two bottom wisdom teeth, which are aggressively compromising the teeth next to them. However, all of these treatments have to be waited on until my TMJ gets better and stops hurting for at least 2-3 months. Then they would do braces on the upper teeth (they said that they can't do lower teeth because my bite is too deep and they will break), and I would wear mouthguard (?) to prevent everything from breaking, and then braces for the lower teeth. They said that it typically takes 2-2.5 years to complete the treatment, but it can take 3 or more years depending on the situation. In terms of pricing, they said that braces would cost about $400-500 for the initial deposit, which you can divide into 2-3 payments, and $60-75 per month after that. Besides that, they would have to take X-ray every 6 months, which costs $25 or so each time. Since this specialist does not practice general dentistry, I will need to go to another dentist in Mexico next month to treat the rest of the dental work, and then discuss orthodontic options after the more serious procedures are done.

As for my PTSD medication, I was able to get the supply for this month. However, since I have not been able to see a psychiatrist for over a year, I will need to see one soon to see if any adjustment is needed, so I've been working on that still.

Your support has made so much possible. I didn't ever imagine that I would be able to take so many steps towards healing, or that so many people would show me so much kindness. Thank you!!

Posted on July 13, 2017


Posted on July 13, 2017

Hi everyone!

(I'm so sorry that I'm posting the update this late>

So I successfully had my eye surgery on Tuesday! It actually was scary since you still feel and smell various things during the procedure. And... they give you a pink stuffed animal to hold. At first I was like, "????? I'm 25 years old???????" Then the doctor laughed and said that they ask you to hold it near your thighs, so you won't accidentally move your hands if you get scared. Then there were a lot of bright red and green lights, and three different kinds of slate-like glass plates, and after that I saw a blade, heard and smelled scary things, and it was done! A weird thing is that the sedative they gave me during surgery, that I was told shouldput me into sleep right afterwards, didn't work until 9 hours later! They said that it must have been because I was extremely sharp and fast. 

Yesterday, I went to a post-op appointment.  My eyes still hurt, and are dry, blurry etc., and learned that my vision will take 4-6 weeks to improve to "pretty well," and about 6 months to completely heal (free of halos, glare, blurriness, dryness, etc.). I have to do two sterilizing eye drops for three days, and artificial tear drops for a while. But I went to take the dog out last night, and I was amazed by the fact that I could read 👀  a billboard (an ad for a burger place??? Tommy said, "actually, it's an ad for cheap Budweiser beer.") that was about half a mile away without any glasses (well, I wore light-cutting yellow Gunnar glasses?) or contacts! I'm so relieved that I'm not going to be blind! I'm also really excited to have found out that that will be how much I will be able to see without any eye support in a few months, and that the pressure and oxygenation of my eyes is already improving!

Thank you everyone for making this possible!! Also, I would like to give an extra large "Thank you" to Scott Rux, Laura Serafine, and Tommy for making sure that I don't get any steam or smoke in my eyes this week!!

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