One of the people behind the scenes has been Mr. Stark's partner, Diane Franklin, who has served as Logistics and Planning Director for the Helios Project for the past year. Ms. Franklin is retired and has served in this capacity without pay. Her skills allowed the project to better organize and distribute the resources they receive to those who need them.
According to a post in Ken Starks' Blog of Helios, Ms. Franklin suffered a "minor" stroke last week. However, tests revealed that:
that both arteries feeding the brain stem were either partially or almost fully blocked and the decision was made to place stents into those arteries and restore flow to that part of the brain.Unfortunately, as of now, that necessary surgery is on indefinite hold and, again quoting The Blog of Helios:
Diane is 64 and took Social Security retirement at 62 so she lives on $1200.00 a month. There is a no-man's land of 3-4 years where she is not eligible for Medicare so she's just been hoping for the best...
Ms. Franklin's Social Security income is too high to qualify for Medicaid in Texas as well. The net result is that she cannot afford even basic health insurance and without it the hospital will not perform what may very well be life saving surgery.
So now instead of surgically placing the stents, the plan is to "passively" treat her condition. Blood pressure meds, blood thinners.... The doctor said with any luck, those treatments would relieve the pressure that caused the weakening of the arterial wall. [...] We went from a good surgical solution to luck.Running a small, specialized non-profit has left Ken Starks with a very low income level as well so he is unable to pay for the care Diane Franklin now needs. Suddenly he has gone from helping underprivileged youth to being in the uncomfortable position of soliciting help for his partner for much needed medical care. His work fo on the Helios Project is on hold as he concentrates his efforts on Ms. Franklin's immediate needs.
Mr. Starks has setup a PayPal account to allow those in the Linux community who would like to contribute to do so. Contributions should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. For those without a credit/debit card or a PayPal account contributions can be sent to the address found here.