Most Florida parents would do whatever is necessary to ensure the health and well-being of their children. One mother even underwent surgery for her son after medical mistakes led to his liver failure. Now, she is facing Chapter 7 bankruptcy due to millions of dollars in medical bills.
When the boy was taken to the doctor for what was believed to be simple constipation, it was discovered that he had a tumor. The surgical procedure to remove the tumor led to excessive bleeding, which caused the failure of his liver. As the hospital attempted to correct the problem, the boy was forced to undergo three more procedures, but the problem only got worse.
Four more surgeries and a liver transplant — in which his mother was the donor — were required in order for the boy to live. The child was covered under the health insurance of both parents, but when the hospital admitted fault and paid the family nearly $3 million, the insurance companies refused to pay any further claims. With a total of approximately $5 million in medical expenses for the child, that amount was insufficient. Furthermore, the boy’s mother owes around $500,000 in her own medical expenses associated with donating a portion of her liver to her son. Eventually, a lawsuit yielded a monetary judgment, but that verdict was recently overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court.
Even though the mother has no regrets about undergoing the procedure and doing what was necessary to save her son, she is drowning in medical bills. Like other Florida residents who are faced with the inability to pay high medical expenses, she is facing the possibility of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to find some financial relief. With the rising cost of medical care in the United States, many people find themselves in a position of being unable to pay for care that they desperately needed in order to save their lives and the lives of their children. However, many of them were not due to medical errors that could result in restitution, as was the case here. Bankruptcy could provide the monetary relief needed in order to start over financially.
Source: Palo Alto, CA Patch, “A Mother’s Day Without Justice for One Mom“, May 6, 2016