A Life Decimated By COVID

A Life Decimated By COVID

From Charles Toy

Bret Monlux is a friend of The Christian Left. His life has been almost completely destroyed by COVID. Please read his story below and help a neighbor out today.

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

Recent Updates

Update #2

11 months ago

Thank-you Letter From Bret
12/02/2020

I will be forever touched by all of you at The Christian Left. To say it’s been a difficult year for me is putting it mildly. As you know I was looking at being homeless in October. I was blown away when The Christian Left took up my cause. I was humbled and speechless. Then the members responded beyond my wildest dreams.

Today I made my final back rent payment and I paid for December’s rent. I was able to pay off my entire past due electric bill as well.

I will be forever grateful for the outpouring of love and caring bestowed on me by The Christian Left community. Never in my life have I experienced anything like this and it has changed me to the core.

I would like to personally thank the 359 people who donated to my cause, and say I truly appreciate all the comments and advice people have given me. Crowdsourcing ideas has been a big benefit to me, so thanks each and every one of you! Thank-you; Thank-you; Thank-you … 359 times!

Thanks also to the people who followed my cause but may not have been able to donate. I know you sent good thoughts my way and I felt it!

Bret

More Info

A Life Decimated By COVID

We’ve always said we welcome anyone who wants to join The Christian Left community no matter who they are or what their background is. Our ‘prime directive’ from the beginning has been to love God and love our neighbors as we do ourselves, ALL of our neighbors.

The COVID pandemic along with the incompetent leadership of our president has decimated our nation. None of us knows the extent to which people’s lives have been damaged because it isn’t over yet and the Trump administration has downplayed the situation from the beginning. We don’t even know accurate numbers on how many people have had the related illness. COVID cases continue to surge at record levels.

We wish we had the resources to help our affected brothers and sisters in a big way. We just don’t. We get by on a shoestring budget ourselves. But we can help one person. We feel like that person has crossed our path. His life has been almost completely destroyed from COVID.

That person is a 30-year friend of one member of our admin team. He's a fan and an ally of The Christian Left. His name is Bret Monlux and he’s an atheist. That should not and does not matter when it comes to TCL extending a helping hand. When Jesus instructed us to love our neighbor he didn’t mention any exceptions. 

We would love to see all atheist members of the TCL community in particular step up and make a contribution to Bret’s fund. We know you’re out there. You tell us you’re here all the time and we’re glad to have you as allies. It would be a great thing to show other Christians and the world what it really means to love our neighbors. 

We hope everyone, whether they are atheists, Christians, Buddhists, or from any other background steps up to help as long as they are not on a fixed income or suffering themselves. Any amount helps in this situation. Bret has a big hole to dig out of.  

Here’s a an overview of Bret’s story in his own words. It’s fairly long because a lot has happened to him. He wants to make sure you know all the details.

“Sadly, my line of work has been hard on my body over the years. Back in 2000 I broke my back and I have 4 herniated disks in my spine and one in my neck. I’ve suffered from chronic pain ever since but I’ve had to do manual labor jobs all my life.

In mid-February of this year I got an upper respiratory infection which was diagnosed as pneumonia. I now believe it may have been COVID. I was extremely ill like nothing I've ever experienced.

At the end of February I had symptoms of a heart attack and I was admitted to hospital. No heart attack was detected but the symptoms persisted. I landed in the ER 7 times and one of those times they kept me overnight for testing. I was placed on various meds which I believe may have caused stomach issues that dramatically decreased my appetite over the last 7 months.  I lost 70 lbs. in one month and literally lost all my strength. I was barely able to get out of bed to go to bathroom. Just walking to the bathroom made me feel exhausted. During this time I fell walking down my front steps on at least 3 occasions further injuring myself. I still lack strength in my legs which causes me concern about falling again.

In June I had surgery to do a biopsy on my stomach. While I was under they looked for colon cancer. They found and removed 3 large polyps. Fortunately they were benign but that may have caused some of my stomach and weight loss issues. I don’t know for sure. During that time they also diagnosed me with gastritis. I still feel very weak but I’m able to eat a bit more now and I feel like I’m at 50 percent of my former strength.

My health is a mess right now. I have other related medical problems. They include high blood pressure, anxiety attacks and depression (which were under control before but have now worsened), thrush in my mouth and sinuses, sleep issues, weight loss, ongoing low-grade fever, constant sweating, pain and swelling in my back, neck, and shoulder, and chest pain with swelling in chest area. My sternum where ribs attach inexplicably separated from my ribs and swelled to the size of a fist. The chronic pain from my broken back in 2000 has been exacerbated from my illnesses. To top it off I recently learned I have a strep infection. 

I’ve had AIDS and Hepatitis tests and both came back negative. The one good thing during all this has been the ongoing, quality healthcare I’ve received from my doctor. The COVID testing issues I’ve had have been out of his hands for the most part. Even now though he says “we’re just not set up to do COVID antibody testing.”

Fast forward to the end of July. While all this was happening my friend, mentor and father figure called to tell me he had cancer and had less than a year to live. He asked if I could come and help him with planning and working with agencies to get a wheelchair ramp built. I went and stayed at his house for a week. 

During that week I learned that one of my two roommates had gone to the hospital with breathing issues. He was diagnosed with COVID the next day. Two days later I returned home to learn that my roommate had passed away from COVID and my second roommate was sick. After a couple days of harsh symptoms he called an ambulance and went to hospital. He died 2 hours later. So, both my roommates died from COVID within a short time of one another, the first on July 25th, and the second July 28th.

I self quarantined after exposure to my roommates and ended up coming down mild symptoms. I couldn't get tested anywhere at the time so after I saw my doctor he put me on a another 2 week quarantine. At the end of that quarantine they finally tested me and it came up negative but by then I was symptom free. The total length of my quarantine was 34 days.

Being quarantined for so long caused me to lose a new job I had been hired to do. I couldn’t attend the training during my quarantine period. My work history is all manual labor and this job was less so. I may have actually been able to do this job. I am in no condition to do the types of hard labor I have always done, and I have no experience doing anything else so this was a very hard blow. I am trying to find some sort of employment which is part time at least to start until I am back to full strength. I know for sure that manual labor is out of the question for me in the immediate future.

I’m definitely at a fork in the road. I may have to go back to school and learn something new. That will be an entirely new struggle to survive but I have to get through this first.  As I have said, I am fairly convinced I had COVID and I fell through the cracks with the timing and quality of the two tests I had.

I was forced to take a medical leave from work in February as a result of everything I’ve described above. Thinking this would be a short term situation I started paying my bills with credit cards. I had no other alternative. I would have lost everything and been forced to live in my car. The only income I’ve had since the end of February has been the $1,200 check from the federal stimulus.  I’m now on the verge of having to move into my car, which is broken. Living in my car with my medical problems would be extremely difficult and my credit cards are almost maxed out.

I have not been able to pay my rent since July and I haven't paid the power bill since March. I really don't know what to do at this point. I’m overwhelmed in every aspect of my life. They haven’t been turning off electricity around my area because of the pandemic but my account balance has continued to accumulate. I rent from an old friend who used to live here with me. It’s a mobile home in a mobile park. He owns it and he let me rent from him when he moved into his new house. That has been a lifesaver but he can’t go on without receiving rent forever. He’s been covering many of the costs and calling it a loan.

I have applied for rental assistance with several different agencies. Out of all of them only one sounds like they are willing to help but they have given me no timeline on when they may be able to assist. The last one I applied at told me I was not eligible because there were not enough people living in my house. Just within the last week I was able to bring in one new roommate but I’m so buried right now my living situation may cease to exist soon.

The timing of my illness in February being pre-COVID and my being on medical leave when the national shutdown took place has led to my not being eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. I seem to have encountered several unfortunate loopholes in this situation. I‘ve managed to get food stamps and medical coverage and I’ve received a few food boxes since February. Otherwise I have had no other money or resources coming in.  I honestly don’t know if I can handle a job yet but I am going to give it a shot as soon as I can find one that isn't physical.

I realize that there are millions of people struggling right now and I feel guilty asking for help. If I was in better health I would not do so but frankly I feel I have done everything I can and I am just getting further and further behind. My goal with this funding campaign amount is to catch up, pay some people back and carry me through the end of December. If I can find a job that I can do and get a couple paychecks I may be able to finally get back to normal.

The last week or so I’ve been trying very hard to get a COVID antibody test. It has been an awful ordeal and I haven’t had any luck being scheduled for a test. It’s kind of ridiculous. I have called several places that do the tests and I’ve been quoted under $100 for the tests. However, they all have extra steps you have to do, such as establishing care with a new doctor and a video COVID screening which all cost extra money. It makes the total several hundred dollars which my insurance will not cover. Evidently one cannot just get a simple blood test for antibodies. I have a psychiatrist who is trying to find an answer as he believes it’s important for my mental health. It has been extremely frustrating.

Needless to say, any help I can get right now will be deeply appreciated. It may very well save my life. I’ve wondered many times whether or not I’m going to survive this.

Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Help Charles raise $12,500 by making a donation.

Charles Toy posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #2

Thank-you Letter From Bret
12/02/2020

I will be forever touched by all of you at The Christian Left. To say it’s been a difficult year for me is putting it mildly. As you know I was looking at being homeless in October. I was blown away when The Christian Left took up my cause. I was humbled and speechless. Then the members responded beyond my wildest dreams.

Today I made my final back rent payment and I paid for December’s rent. I was able to pay off my entire past due electric bill as well.

I will be forever grateful for the outpouring of love and caring bestowed on me by The Christian Left community. Never in my life have I experienced anything like this and it has changed me to the core.

I would like to personally thank the 359 people who donated to my cause, and say I truly appreciate all the comments and advice people have given me. Crowdsourcing ideas has been a big benefit to me, so thanks each and every one of you! Thank-you; Thank-you; Thank-you … 359 times!

Thanks also to the people who followed my cause but may not have been able to donate. I know you sent good thoughts my way and I felt it!

Bret

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or

Charles Toy posted a new update:
11 months ago

Update #1

Update 11-30-2020
A Life Decimated By COVID

We're down to the last $200 to complete the campaign goal. It goes without saying that this has made all the difference in the world for Bret and his situation. He's feeling much better about his housing now and the prospects of finding a job without the worry of being homeless.

That said Bret is still very weak and still in a great deal of pain. He says that he's on Medicaid and doesn't have many options when his case isn't being handled right.

When his doctor received his chart from his last doctor it reported that Bret suffered from bouts of anxiety. Now his doctor is blaming many of his symptoms on anxiety. Bret says he knows the difference and this is not the case. He's considering changing doctors but that's a big step given his condition. Apparently it's not an easy process when one is on Medicaid.

We're going to try to get him some kind of medical advocate. We'll keep everyone posted. His weakness and pain level are still issues. Having a roof over his head is no longer an emergency and that's a wonderful thing. It's thanks to you and we appreciate your kindness in a big way. Thank-you.

Bret is in the process of composing a letter to you at this time. He says he can't find the words for how grateful he is for the help from The Christian Left community. We've told him those words alone are good enough but he still wants to get a letter written.

Watch for a letter from Bret with more details. We'll post it and send it once he's done with it.

If anyone would like to participate in the last couple contributions to reach the final goal please feel free.

Thanks So Much For Your Kindness and Generosity

God Bless You!

The Christian Left

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or