A 95-mile-an-hour wind lifted Jason Amaya’s one-ton pickup and 38-foot trailer off I-80 last February, hurling him and his life in an unforeseen direction.
“I died in that accident,” Jason says. “They bolted me back together.”
After three months in a rehabilitation hospital, the 42-year-old father of four from Rifle moved into his grandmother’s house in Grand Junction. It wasn’t long after that Jermaine Fubler, a Medicaid community health outreach coordinator working for Rocky Mountain Health Plans, reached out to help.
“From the second I met him, Jermaine’s been nothing but help, above and beyond what I could have expected from anyone. The guy is amazing,” Jason says. “He’s just a genuine, good person.”
Jason’s business was transporting large taxidermy products across the country—he was hauling a full-size preserved giraffe from Iowa to California when his accident happened. His injuries left him unable to walk or work, so Jermaine helped him apply for social security disability benefits. He also helped Jason find suitable housing for him, his youngest children and Odin, his Great Dane. Odin rode with Jason on his long hauls.
“Jermaine probably looked at about 20 places before he found one that would let me keep my dog. He’d find a place, but it wouldn’t be right, and he kept going and going,” Jason says.
Jermaine also coordinated ongoing health appointments for Jason and helped him get medical equipment and the food and housing benefits he needs as he continues his recovery.
“Even last week, he helped me get stuff from a food bank. He’s been amazing,” Jason says. “He definitely opened my eyes to see that there’s help for humanity. He’s answered my questions, and when he didn’t know the answer, he’d find out and come back with an answer.”
The accident changed Jason’s life. Care coordinators know how to navigate the disruption to find solutions. “Without these coordinators, life wouldn’t be possible for people like me,” Jason says. “He never treated me like someone who was hurt; it was more like a friend who was there to help. Like a friend you’ve known for 20 years. It blows my mind.”
“It just gives me hope,” Jason added. “For people like me—who’ve had a 180-degree turn in life—he’s definitely been instrumental in helping me maintain my sanity. It’s just such a big wakeup call. I can’t even imagine going through all this without someone like him to help me.”