Donald Savastano was a hardworking American carpenter whose luck showed up a day late and a dollar short. Unable to afford health insurance, it took winning one million dollars in the New York State Lottery for Savastano to afford a visit to the doctor's office. Unfortunately, it was too late. Donald Savastano passed away from stage 4 cancer 23 days after claiming his lottery winnings. His tragic story gives a name and face to the millions of Americans whose dreams and lives are cut short by a broken healthcare system.
Donald Savastano Worked Hard for the American DreamSavastano was the essence of an American. As a child, he learned his craft of carpentry from his father, with whom he was very close. After putting in time on commercial projects and paying his dues in the union, Donald was able to become self-employed. For the past decade, Savastano lived in Sidney, New York, with his beloved girlfriend of twelve years, Julie, and her two sons, Alex and Casper, whom Donald helped raise.
He Believed in Doing Things Right
Nearly half of American veterans who need mental health care don't receive it and more than half of those who would… https://t.co/geGReioKI2— CNN (@CNN)1517513707.0
The American Dream is Not Always a Two-Way Street
America's for-profit health care system forces people like Donald Savastano to shy aware from getting the care they… https://t.co/Ke8PhJqWK7— Gareth Rhodes (@Gareth Rhodes)1517510332.0
The Lottery Winner Found One Million Reasons to BelieveSo when Donald scratched off the tiny numbers on his “Merry Millionaire" lottery scratcher, he thought that he had just found one million reasons to believe that things were about to turn around for him; that doing things the right way counted for something in the grand scheme of things. Donald had won one million dollars in the New York State Lottery.
The Carpenter had Modest Plans and High Hopes
Man dies of cancer weeks after winning $1 million lottery: https://t.co/HFE3Wp6wzP https://t.co/YwVyXf5sxP— Good Morning America (@Good Morning America)1517526001.0
No one has a greater interest in your health than you do. Should you have more control of it? https://t.co/4XtRkjYQSz— The Economist (@The Economist)1517487921.0
Savastano Could Finally Afford An Overdue Appointment
"What happens when Amazon takes on health care" https://t.co/UhFG5pSspq— TIME (@TIME)1517498109.0
It was Simply Too Little, Too Late"This is going change our lives, to tell you the truth," Donald said as he retrieved his winnings. Little did Donald know that it would not; that it could not. It may have been one million dollars, an amount of money that most of us believe could change everything for us, but it was still too little, too late. With a new lease on life and a lump sum of $661,800 in the bank, Donald learned that he had stage 4 brain and lung cancer.
High Hopes were Not Enough
Donald Savastano was thrilled when he won $1 million in the lottery — it meant he could finally go to the doctor. B… https://t.co/xMTlMX9I5F— New York Post (@New York Post)1517510170.0