Our dear friend and colleague Neal McKenna has fallen ill and we are calling out to the warm hearts of the gay community and all allies to help him in this time of need. Neal has been writing for Gay Pages for a very long time and his words have helped a lot of our readers gain valuable insights over the years. Please see below a word from his partner:
Neal McKenna has been my legal husband for the past 18 years. During that time, he has struggled with mental health issues. As is often the case, those who seem to be always laughing on the outside do the most crying on the inside. For Neal, this unfortunate situation has increased with age. At present, he is just shy of his 71st birthday.
On May 2nd, 2018 he had a complete mental breakdown. This led to emergency hospitalisation including three days in ICU. Unfortunately, the South African medical insurance we are signed up with has refused to provide any coverage for his treatment despite all appeals. Their fine print states mental health issues will not be covered. To date, billings for treatment received by us amounts to ZAR 250,000 (CAD 25,000). This includes hospitalisation, physiotherapy, psychiatric and counselling, medication, ambulance and other related costs.
Needless to say, this has put an extreme amount of pressure on our financial situation which was already rather tight because of Neal’s deteriorating health over the last few years. Some of you are aware, he was hospitalised last year with pneumonia. This latest setback will indeed be a long journey for Neal but I will be with him through every step of his recovery and beyond.
Asking for financial assistance is never a comfortable thing to do but the concept of “go fund” does make it easier. We would truly appreciate any financial contribution you can make to Neal’s recovery. As well, we would be happy to reimburse or provide to a charity of your choice, any remainder of the donated funds.
Navin Vasudev & Neal McKenna