A lot of my blog followers and subscribers have been following the story of Linda Rivera and her fight against the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.  As you might recall, Linda has been hospitalized since May 2, 2009 – yes, almost 11 months.  She has suffered kidney and liver failure.  She has suffered seizures and has had a portion of her colon removed.  She has had more near death experiences than anyone should ever have.  Her medical bills to date have nearly reached her life-time cap.  She and her husband have been unable to work and they are now on COBRA which will expire in less than a year.

So, why is Linda smiling?  Three reasons. 

First, she is being released from the hospital in the next week.  She will be entering a rehab center where she hopes to learn how to walk and care for her and her family (husband and six kids) again.  She has a very long road ahead, but I am hopeful that she is going to make the best recovery that she is able. 

Second, because she has more pre-existing conditions than you can imagine, and she faced a cap on and the end of her insurance, the new health care bill passed by the democrats in the House and Senate and signed by the President will help her.  She and her family will not face certain bankruptcy because she will now be able to find insurance despite her health history and no job.

Third, she and her husband, Richard, received a call from their Senator, Harry Reid today.  Linda and Richard were able to voice their support for S. 510 – FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.  It is not every day that you can turn a horrible tragedy into a reason for action.

That is why Linda is smiling.