Just the other day, Laura missed an opportunity for important medical attention because she had no way of communicating with her doctor’s office.


Q. Do you have any past experiences that you think may have contributed to your current situation? 

I lost three of my daughters in a house fire. I think that’s what sort of led to me being the way I am now. I’m still suffering from depression because of my loss. I’ve kept a lot of my emotions bottled up over the years, and by doing so, I’ve given them the chance to fester. I’m just going to tell you up front that my emotions often get the better of me. I experience these mood swings that despite taking dozens of pills a day to control, even frighten myself sometimes.


Q. What impact do you think a cellphone could have on your life? 

It would make all the difference. About a year ago, my [physical] health started going downhill as well. I’m missing a disk in my back that’s really been interfering with my quality of life. I can’t be active for long periods of time and the pain is constant. I’ve visited a local doctor a few times to receive some treatment, but it’s hard to keep in regular correspondence with your doctor when your daily life is so unpredictable. Having a cellphone would just take a huge weight off my chest. It would change my life. I’d be able to access the crisis line and other support services when I start to lose control, and I wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll ever receive treatment for my back. Most important to me though, would be the opportunity I’d have to get back in touch with my remaining kids. I haven’t been able to see them in quite some time, and I’d really like to be able to be a part of their lives again.