“While I was a public teacher, my late husband’s diabetes caused catastrophic health issues. Anything diabetes can do to a person, it did to him. During what turned out to be his last year of life, he had already been in end-stage kidney failure for 5 years, & we were doing peritoneal dialysis at home, which requires twice daily (set-up & break down) of very heavy bags of liquid & tubing. Well, he developed a toe infection, which led to its amputation. But it led to further & further amputations, until a below-the-knee amputation was our only option. He developed sepsis. It was a living nightmare. While this was developing, I decided I needed to avail myself of FMLA. He was unable to set up his dialysis care. He had multiple doctor’s appointments. He had to get fitted for a prosthetic & have therapy. I HAD to be home. I took FMLA from October to end of school year. I was SO SO SO FORTUNATE to have inherited some money from my dad’s passing the year before, so it paid for my health insurance & bills. I cannot even fathom how someone would keep their sanity, health, & any sense of self-care without the time. I know most people do not have an economic cushion like I did. My husband then developed infections in his other foot at the start of the next school year, & I could see the end in sight. I sadly had to take FMLA again. He entered hospital, had more surgeries, & passed after about 4 weeks. IF I did not have access to FMLA, I still fear what the stresses could have done to me. I know most people do not have the resources I did, but God forbid, they have to continue working under such horrific circumstances. Physical & mental health of caregivers becomes fragile as it is. I believe FMLA saved my own life. Paid Family Leave can only help, not hurt, an employer and an employee. I am certain it is a literal life saver. Thank you.”

Nancy, Wallingford CT