From Engineer/Inspector Russ Sechler

March 18, 2015

I have been asked by the Benevolent Fund directors to tell a short story of how the organization helped me and my family during the crisis we went through and continue to live today. I will be brief as possible however there were many facets to the story you should know, so, ask me when you see me.

On September 10th, 2015 at about 11 am, I was taken to Marion Hospital Emergency room by my son after a member of my family and a nurse advised me to go. I shortly after learned that I had a 12 inch D.V.T. ( Deep Vein Thrombosis) in my leg. The Doctors continued to do tests and found I also had a large amount of P.E.’s (Pulmonary Emboli) lodged inside my lungs. Both of these events carry a 50% mortality rate. I was told I should have died from both events. This news was completely devastating to my family. It took some time for the seriousness to sink in with me but not long after, it did. I hadn’t felt many ill effects right away from the condition so I didn’t know what to feel emotionally.

I and my family had many questions that needed to be answered. Even though I did not feel physically hurt, achy or otherwise ill at first, I apparently was not fully mentally aware of everything that was going on. At the same time, my daughter was feeling very ill while away at college and soon would have to come home to heal, long term. Two serious medical and financial problems hit us at the same time. To make it worse, my injury was denied by workman’s compensation and is in appeal today.

While I had many co-workers show up at the hospital and a few at my home afterwards, I felt very alone and depressed. I felt the world was coming down on me all at the same time and I didn’t have the strength to change that. I would fall unconscious for hours every day after just as much as walking to the mail box.  I had doctor’s co-pays for both me and my daughter and many bills not being paid that overtime had been paying before the illness.

Luckily, there was a Benevolent Fund leader waiting in the wings and watching, ready to help. All we had to do is ask and he made it happen. Not just once but whenever we needed it. I had no idea of how I would need immediate money to take the pressure off of me and my family so I could get on with healing. We got to the point where we could not afford the medical co-pays and had decided not to get treatment because there was no money. That should NEVER happen to ANY of our members. The Benevolent is there, you just have to ask. I would also advise the Benevolent leaders to make sure you check in with folks and reach out to them. I know I have trouble asking for help because of how I was raised. It is important and healing for leaders to call and ask if the injured need help.

In our case, not only did the money the benevolent gave help us pay bills, the fact that someone cared for us was huge and healing, and is going a long way to help with our recovery.


Russ Sechler and Family

Rebecca, Brandon and Amanda