Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
A Hogeland family is getting some help from neighbors during the second occurrence of a serious health problem in two years.
Gay Matter, 57, of Hogeland is in the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City for treatment of a brain aneurysm. Her husband, Art Matter, 61, was treated for the same problem in Great Falls two years ago.
Local groups have set up a fund at a local bank to help pay for the treatment.
Art Matter said Monday his wife is getting better, and doctors say she may have 100 percent recovery.
"She's steadily gets better, just slowly," he said.
He said Gay's stay in the hospital will run at least through next week.
Gay collapsed at home on Labor Day, Sept. 6, three days after returning from the National American Legion Auxiliary Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
An ambulance crew planned to take her to Northern Montana Hospital in Havre but opted instead for the hospital in Fort Belknap, which was closer, when her condition worsened, Art said. She was flown to Billings, where the aneurysm was discovered.
Aneurysms occur when a weak spot in an artery by the brain begins to swell.
Jim Matter of Havre, Art's brother, said Gay's improving condition is an unexpected relief, because of the seriousness of the aneurysm.
"It's a lot better than what was expected," he said.
Two local American Legion auxiliaries and the Turner Lucky Ladies homemakers club have set up an account at the Bank of Harlem, where people can make donations.
Art said the cost will be high. His treatment in Great Falls cost more than $160,000, and he had to sell part of his farm to pay the bill. He expects that Gay's treatment will cost more. Neither has health insurance.
He said he is going to apply for Medicaid for help to pay the bill.
Kamra Matter of Reno, Nev., said she is afraid her father may have to sell more land to pay the bills.
"We thought we might have to sell the farm piece by piece," she said.
Kamra said she and her sisters, Tiaya Matter of Helena and Cori Matter of Twin Falls, Idaho, will be tested to see if they are likely to have aneurysms, now that both of their parents have had them.
"The doctors told us we'd better," she said.