An army veteran and his wife may get divorced so they can pay their daughter's healthcare costs.
Here is the story of Maria and Jake Grey.
The Greys, who now live in Sanger, have two little girls: Fairen, who’s two, and Brighton, who’s six—but developmentally is still a baby.
The family calls Brighton a beautiful blessing. Caring for her is something they feel blessed to do, but it has been difficult.
“You know, when you have a newborn, everything gets really stressful. You really have to adapt to someone needing you 24/7, all the time,” Maria explained. “We’ve had a newborn for six-and-a-half years.”
Brighton has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder that’s left her needing full-time care. She has hearing and vision impairment, seizures, heart and kidney problems and more.
The syndrome’s effects on their daughter have also left them financially fragile.
“I used to get anxiety just opening the mail because I was scared of what would come or what bill would come or what denial would come,” Maria said through tears.
Even with health insurance, the family says they spend up to $15,000 each year out of pocket for Brighton’s care. That’s more than 30 percent of their annual income.
Because Jake, an Army veteran, makes about $40,000 a year, the family doesn’t qualify for Medicaid. And while there is state assistance available, there are tens of thousands of people on the waiting lists. Some have been waiting up to 14 years. On one list, Brighton is number 59,979, the family says.