And it seems to get even harder with each passing day for the young mother of three.
Melissa is jobless after 8½ years. Her youngest child, Jordyn, was born with more than 22 different diagnoses, including fluid on the brain and scoliosis. At the time of her birth, Jordyn was only the 22nd baby born in the U.S. with that many health issues.
Her other children are Courtney, 14, and Hannah, 4.
Six weeks after Jordyn’s birth, her father left and currently pays nothing in child support, Melissa said, adding that her only income is the $327 a week she gets in unemployment.
“It’s a nightmare,” Melissa said. “Neither father pays child support. It’s just a catastrophe.”
Barker said Courtney’s dad is incarcerated in Macon. Jordyn’s dad is employed but doesn’t pay child support, and also refuses to obtain health insurance for his daughter, she said.
Melissa said her house payment is a little more than $900, and she expects to lose the family’s home in the next 30 days. Where she and the girls will go at that time is unknown to her, she said.
When Barker lost her job, she was told it was due to customer complaints, but Barker suspects it had to do with the amount of time she had to spend with her daughter going to doctor’s visits.
While Medicaid covers some of Jordyn’s medical expenses, there are some items that the state-sponsored coverage simply will not cover. One of the things provided is 70 hours of nursing care per week, which Barker said is vitally important because Jordyn is subject to seizures and can pass out and die.
She said Jordyn has had surgery to alleviate fluid around her brain and must wear a special mask to sleep in order to compensate for her sleep apnea.
The family’s air conditioning is broken, she said, and they have to deal with near 90-degree temperatures in the house.
Melissa said she has put in more than 200 job applications as she struggles to keep her family together. She has no immediate family in the area willing to help, she said, and Jordyn’s paternal grandparents barely acknowledge her existence.
Melissa said next up for Jordyn is back surgery for her scoliosis. However, she said that once that happens, surgery will be required every six months to keep up with Jordyn’s growth.
She said she is trying to go back to school to better her chances of employment, but so far financial aid has not been forthcoming. Her major is finance and office administration.
Prior to losing her last job she had planned to use part of her vacation time to take her family to the beach.
“The only place Jordyn ever gets to go is the doctor’s office, and I wanted her to see that there really was a big, wide world out there,” she said.
For more information on Jordyn and how you can help, visit gofundme.com\Jordyn or Jordynslove.blogspot.com or check her out on Facebook at Jordyn Barker. Melissa can also be reached at 423-994-3639.