When things go from bad to worse?then get better

When you come across a worst case scenario -- say someone who had a well-paying job but fell on hard times and lost everything ? do you think of that person as an outlier, or an example of what can happen to anyone? The other day, I heard about Jo A. Del Rio, a former Merck employee. She brought home an annual salary of $80,000 until January, 2004, when she was laid off during downsizing. Soon after, a series of medical problems depleted her financial reserves, and she ended up living in a shel

By | January 19, 2006

When you come across a worst case scenario -- say someone who had a well-paying job but fell on hard times and lost everything ? do you think of that person as an outlier, or an example of what can happen to anyone? The other day, I heard about Jo A. Del Rio, a former Merck employee. She brought home an annual salary of $80,000 until January, 2004, when she was laid off during downsizing. Soon after, a series of medical problems depleted her financial reserves, and she ended up living in a shelter. After the media began linkurl:telling her story;http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060104-9999-7m4delrio.html , former co-workers and strangers sent Del Rio money ? enough for her to move into an apartment over New Year?s Day weekend. Since Del Rio lost her job, news reports say she?s been hospitalized 16 times, due to back surgery, a heart attack, and a condition that causes bleeding in the lungs. She depends on supplemental oxygen to survive. And surviving she is, at least for now. She says she receives $812 per month from Social Security, and uses more than one-third to pay for health insurance. Del Rio has a doctorate in both pharmacology and toxicology, and used to work as a researcher at the Salk Institute. How much does her resume sound like yours? Personally, Del Rio?s story gave me pause. It?s humbling to remember that even with a good education and impressive work history, a string of bad luck can change everything?and give people an opportunity to show how generous they can be.

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