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July 26, 2017

Carol

Carol,
Brooklyn Park, MN

Our journey all started when our youngest daughter was born 19 years ago. She came into this world three months early and because of that had some serious health issues. Her first few months were spent in the NICU with the medical care team trying to keep her alive. Through all of this she was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus and has had to endure over 120 brain surgeries throughout her life with no end in sight.

I had to quit my job to care for her while my husband continued to work and keep our insurance. We had many people ask us how we were going to pay for all of the medical bills. Our only answer was that we had no choice.

Five years later we were hit with another medical nightmare. Our middle daughter, at age 11, was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. This is a horrible, debilitating disease that rocked our world. Now we had to figure out how to deal with this emotionally and financially at the same time dealing with our youngest daughter’s health issues. Many times they would both be in the hospital at the same time, sometimes, even sharing a room.

Through all of this my husband and I had no choice but to access multiple various lines of credit and max out several credit cards. This is the only way we could possibly pay the mounting medical debt. We did have friends and family put together a couple fundraisers which helped pay for some parking and meals. My job evolved into keeping up with the doctor and hospital appointments and my husband had his full time job along with dealing with all of the financial problems, which is a full time job in itself, so he essentially has two full time jobs. He typically had to fight insurance issues on a daily basis just to stay ahead of everything. Our average out of pocket expenses per year typically around $20,000.00. This is money we do not have.

Both of our daughters are still fighting their illnesses, but are now on Medical Assistance as they are now on their own. We, on the other hand continue to try and pay the bills we have acquired over the past 19 years. Retirement is not something we can look forward to. The bills are much too high for that.