A happily married couple is contemplating a divorce just so they can afford health care for their disabled daughter.
Jake and Maria Grey of Texas have been married for nine years, but say divorce is the only way to help pay for their daughter's pricey health care bills.
The parents of two daughters, Fairen, 2, and Brighton, 6, have struggled to pay for Brighton's medical treatment. The girl has a rare developmental disorder, and even with insurance the couple spends more than $15,000 a year on out of pocket, reports WFAA.
“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."
Jake, an Army veteran, makes too much to qualify for Medicaid. However, his annual $40,000 salary isn't enough to cover his daughter's medical expenses.
The Greys applied for state assistance but are 59,979 on the list. The couple fears divorce is their only option. Jake said:
“We’ve just struggled and struggled with it, and now we’ve gotten to the point, where we feel it’s a real possibility."
By separating, Maria would become single, and the unemployed mother of two would qualify for Medicaid. Jake added:
“It's morally wrong, I feel like, and I think it's conflicting for me too, because I feel like what's happening to us is morally wrong.”
“We promised to each other and to her that we'd do whatever we could do to make her life, however long she's going to be with us, as good as possible.”
Brighton suffers from Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder that delays her growth and development. The disorder causes hearing and vision impairment and seizures.
Her mom said caring for her daughter is like caring for a baby:
“We’ve had a newborn for six-and-a-half years.”
The couple told Today they're not “looking for charity,” but they want the state to step up their benefits. Maria said:
“We're not looking for money or donations. We don't want a GoFundMe — we don’t want any of that.”
More than 30 percent of the family's income goes towards the girl's health care treatment.
The family is willing to do anything to continue caring for their daughter with special needs.