Nine little numbers can kill you. Seriously. Ashes to ashes, mud to mud lethal.
That was what Ken Nesslage found to his premature demise. RIP.
He was 77 and solely attempting to do the suitable factor when it occurred, for heaven’s sake.
He had gone to the Social Security Administration workplace out by the Grand Junction Regional Airport to inform them that his mom had died.
Roberta J. McDonough was 95 years, 1 month and 1 day previous when she died on May 13 together with her beloved small canine in her lap. Unfortunately, on July 1 it turned obvious that the mortuary in Utah hadn’t made the notifications for her that it was alleged to and it fell to Nesslage, the trustee for her property.
A dutiful son to the top, he had all the correct paperwork. However, he was required to enter his personal Social Security quantity into the system to get a ticket to be seen on the workplace window.
And with that nine-digit entry, Nesslage despatched himself into the digital jaws of dying.
Not realizing how dangerous off he was, although, he did not go to the physician for per week. He was advised his Medicare was suspended.
As quickly as he acquired residence, he referred to as Medicare.
“Are you sitting down, Mr. Nesslage?” the lady requested. “I’m going to tell you something that might disturb you greatly.”
Then she advised him he was lifeless.
He was again on the Social Security workplace in a scorching second, a lot too upset to be a ghostly apparition.
But, alas, he was lifeless. As of May 13, in truth. The identical day his mom died.
He was assured the error mixing up his mom’s dying along with his personal can be corrected. However, within the days to come back Nesslage started to appreciate it was a lot simpler to die than to come back again to life and located himself an odd member among the many walking lifeless all headed downhill.
Still, he tried to refill his blood stress remedy. His Medicare remained suspended.
He and his spouse of 40 years, Judy Nesslage, stopped for lunch at Butch’s Cafe in Delta. His bank card was declined.
“We’ve never had a credit card declined,” mentioned Judy, who’s adamant about paying payments nicely earlier than they’re due and often guards their non-public data.
The couple paid their tab utilizing a special card, however as he went from the restaurant to the automobile, Nesslage could not assist considering to himself, “dead man walking.”
He acquired a name from a well being care firm about arranging for repossession of the CPAP oxygen machine he leases.
“I use it every night! Please don’t take it away. I might die if you do!” Nesslage advised them.
Then the letters started arriving, which made the couple dread getting the mail.
Credit card firms despatched cancelation notices addressed to the “estate of the deceased.”
Bank of America, which held their mortgage, wasn’t far behind.
“Please accept our condolences for your loss,” mentioned a letter despatched to Judy. “We understand this is a difficult time and appreciate your help in providing the information needed …”
They wished a duplicate of Nesslage’s dying certificates and different paperwork. When Nesslage referred to as the financial institution, he was advised that amongst different issues he would want to bodily stroll into the closest department — it is in Avon — to show he was alive.
That was the nail within the coffin for the Nesslages’ relationship with Bank of America. The couple had simply began the method of refinancing their mortgage with one other financial institution, anyway.
“Fortunately, the bank manager knows me and they chose to ignore the information” (pertaining to his dying), Nesslage mentioned.
However, to go ahead with refinancing, Nesslage wanted proof of earnings and Social Security had closed his account.
Meanwhile, Judy obtained one other letter, this time from Social Security, telling her what her new month-to-month funds can be and that she would obtain $255 for her husband’s burial bills.
“How soon do I get that?” requested Judy, being good with Nesslage. “A whole $255!”
“I’m starting to stink really bad. No embalming fluid,” Nesslage deadpanned.
So Nesslage returned to the native Social Security workplace a 3rd time July 19. He was in a position to get proof of earnings, however still was on the administration’s Death Master File.
“I prayed for the Social Security office to correct the document,” mentioned Nesslage, who occurs to be an ordained minister in addition to a retired electrical engineer and enterprise proprietor.
On his fourth journey to the workplace on July 26 — everybody there now is aware of him by sight and definitely by identify — he acquired a letter indicating he had been reported lifeless in error.
He has since made another go to to the workplace and obtained a mailed letter from Social Security admitting the “inconvenience” it may need brought on by declaring him lifeless … and that each one his non-public data had been shared, per legislation, publicly.
The mild on the finish of the tunnel? A 12 months of free credit score monitoring, complimentary.
Sure, he’ll do it. It’s free, he mentioned.
The couple’s kids — there are 10 between the 2 of them — “they all think it’s funny,” Nesslage mentioned.
There have been loads of jokes about his dying and resurrection, and “there was a lot of bad words said around the house, mostly by me,” Judy admitted.
“I’m alive, I think. I’ve got a pulse,” mentioned Nesslage, who can giggle about the entire thing now that it has been laid to relaxation.
He additionally has a pair strains for his tombstone: “Here lies Ken Nesslage. The second time he died, it worked.”
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