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‘I was offered a .22 bullet’ — NJ mom who posted about son’s $231,000 health bill

When New Jersey’s Alison Chandra took to social media to express her relief about her young child’s health insurance — with a picture of a $231,000 bill she said she could never manage if Republicans strip away healthcare protections — she didn’t imagine the response she’d get.

 

Chandra’s 3-year-old son was diagnosed with heterotaxy syndrome, a rare condition that affects a person’s internal organs. The bill costing the family just $500 because of ban on lifetime benefits caps that Republicans are considering repealing. The post of the bill received more than 80,000 likes and more than 58,000 retweets.

But in a post on Vox.com, Chandra said the relief that came with the bill was short-lived as she saw a severe backlash.

Along with requests from journalists looking for more information and a large number of shares Chandra said there were also “a few angry men telling me that I shouldn’t steal from them, that my child was better off dead, that I should have let him just succumb to natural selection.”

Some of the responses were more threatening, according to Chandra.

“I was offered a .22 bullet, although I’m still not sure whom he meant it for, meor my child,” she wrote. “One man took me up on the challenge I’d posed in the thread and declared that my son just wasn’t worth keeping alive anymore.”

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez weighed in on the threats Chandra is receiving on his Facebook page as well.

“To this wonderful, dedicated NJ mom, know that there are many more people fighting for you & your son than attacking you,” he said. “Sometimes sharing your story has terrible, unfair consequences, but it is because of your bravery and the courage of others like you that the American people have banded together to defeat destructive legislation time and time again.”

Eventually, Chandra wrote, she gave up responding to the negativity posted about her son because of the sheer numbers of responses — but also because the responses she had made did not seem to gain any traction.

“No one seemed willing to stop shouting long enough to realize that there was a real person on the other side of the screen, a mother who’s seen her baby go through hell and come out the other side four times now and who just wants him to have a shot at going to kindergarten too,” she wrote.

Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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