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

For: Chiyoko Yamasato
Los Angeles, CA
Organizer: Chiyoko Yamasato
$7,214
of $12,000 goal.
Raised by 157 donors
60% Complete
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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 June 24, 2017

Posted on June 24, 2017

Good afternoon everyone!

I hope you are having a great day today! I have an update on my eye treatment.

Yesterday, I went to a consultation for SMILE&LASIK laser eye surgery.

The doctor was very passionate (his eyes were sparkly the whole time he was explaining things to me and also when I answered questions) and this was very inspiring. Judging from his way of explaining, which was clear, but very detailed and precise at the same time, he must be very, very, experienced. I’ve been introduced to LASIK and SMILE by several other eye doctors, and I could tell that he was by far the best and most reliable. He even likes to use cute round(like eyes) keyboards. They also had one machine that tests things that are needed specifically for these eye surgeries, and this is the only office that I’ve encountered so far that had that machine.

Anyway, so I found out that I have now developed astigmatism besides myopia. This was new information to me (I wasn't able to go to the eye doctors for about two years), and unfortunately SMILE surgery for astigmatism hasn't been approved by FDA in the U.S. yet. So I was disappointed when I heard that. However, the doctor patted my shoulder, and excitedly said that he can do a customized LASIK for me instead, which would still be able to work despite my medical complications. He said that he can make the incisions about 1mm smaller than usual, which decreases damages to the nerves and blood vessels, and helps with the dryness of the eyes. He also told me that the difference between LASIK and SMILE is that SMILE cuts one fewer layer of your eyes, but that the both would have same results.

Between two LASIK (all laser or Microkerarome for the incision) choices, the latest one provides more comfort, less pressure etc compared to the traditional one. However, considering my condition, and given the fact that the result would actually be the same (due to his exceptional experience and knowledge), and that the price is cheaper, I'm considering the traditional one. I was told that I could do SMILE on my right eye since it has very slight astigmatism, but since the doctor says that the effect would be the same; if it can save a little money for the same level of care I might choose LASIK for both eyes, which would let the donations I've generously received go further towards the dental work and medical insurance premiums. I will know more about the cost of the dental work after my appointment on the 28th and the first extraction is done.

A little over a week ago, I didn't know how I would be able to handle these medical problems. But the kindness of so many people has given me hope. So thank you!


Posted on June 21, 2017

Posted on June 21, 2017

Hi everyone!! 
I cannot believe it has reached over half the goal!! I can't express how grateful I am for all of you! 
This will certainly let me have the eye surgery, and some of the dental work. Thank you so much >
I made an appointment for a consultation with an eye doctor who does laser eye surgeries at 9:00 am on this Friday. 

I also called Medi-Cal, and the worker was the most skillful among over 20 people I had to contact for their error.
Unfortunately, even she could not fix the problem due to my rare case. However, I will continue to work hard on this, and keep you updated!

Thank you!!

Posted on June 20, 2017

Posted on June 20, 2017

Hello Everyone!
Thanks to your donations, now I will be able to get some of the dental work started! I have an appointment on the 28th of this month.
In addition, if there is no change in the pricing of the treatments, I will be able to make an appointment for the consultation for the eye surgery when the total reaches about $5,300.

I also called Covered California, and was on the phone with them for 1 hour and 54 minutes. The representative who assisted me was very nice, and he worked an hour overtime to help me, and he even had his supervisor help my case. However, because of my rare immigration status, they were not able to solve the problem.
I will have to call the county, and file an appeal if it still doesn't get resolved. However, everyone has done so much to help me (even on the phone call) that it makes me not want to give up! Thank you!! ٩(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)۶

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