Wednesday, August 09, 2006

$680,000 and Counting . . .

The last week of May. Kristin (a friend of the family, not her real name) was on her way home from school. It had been raining, the roads were wet but did not appear dangerous.

The phone rang. Your daughter has been in an accident. You need to come to the hospital.

The car was damaged beyond recognition. Kristin had to be removed by with the aid of the jaws of life. She was stabilized and transported to the hospital.

Mother arrived at the hospital and was told the news. Kristin had been severely injured. In addition to lacerations she had 2 fractured cervical vertebrae and would be admitted to surgery to allow for placement of a halo brace.

Until the swelling goes down, there is no way to know exactly how much paralysis, if any, is involved. Kristin had just turned 21. She was not what you would call a problem child, but she did lack direction and focus. She was even considering dropping out of school.

Over the next few weeks Kristin’s condition improved. Her cut’s and bruises healed and eventually she progressed to the point where she could sit up in bed. Eventually she would have to learn to walk again, feed & dress herself . . . daily routines most of us take for granted.

It has now been just over 2 months since Kristin’s accident. She still wears a brace but she is adjusting to a new normal.

The bills are still coming in, but not as frequently or as large as they were initially. As of now the total is $680,000 . . . most of which was paid by insurance.

Had this happened after Kristin dropped out of school the outcome might have been different, especially without health insurance.

She would still be 21. She would still be relearning a new routine for daily life. The difference would be the $680,000 debt hanging over her head.
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