Texas couple considering divorce to help pay for daughter’s healthcare costs

Even with health insurance the Greys spend upwards of $15,000 a year out of pocket on healthcare costs for their daughter's rare chromosomal disorder

A north Texas couple is considering a divorce to help pay for their daughter's health care costs. Their 6-year-old daughter Brighton has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder that requires full-time care.

The Greys, who have been married for nine years, said that Jake's $40,000 income as an Army veteran disqualifies them for Medicaid, and that 30 percent of their collective income now goes toward Brighton's care. "You really have to adapt to someone needing you 24/7, all the time", Maria Grey said.

With not enough money to provide good treatment for their daughter, the couple is planning on a divorce, as that would Jake's wife Maria eligible for Medicaid. "We've had a newborn for six and a half years", Ms Grey told WFAA. Due to Brighton's condition, the six-year-old has vision and hearing impairments and has seizures.

The syndrome's effects on their daughter have also left them financially fragile.

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"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", Mr Grey said. The Greys applied for state assistance but don't expect to get it because of where they fall on the list.

Describing the situation his family finds itself in as "morally wrong", he added, "For someone to kind of make you choose between your marriage and your child is just-it's just a really weird spot to be in". "I guess now we've gotten to the point where we feel like (divorce) is a real possibility", Jake stated.

The couple said they have heard of other families in the same heartbreaking dilemma. Dr. Thad Miller, a health care policy expert at UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth, suspects that many families - especially those whittling on assistance waiting lists - face a similar grim decision.

Yet, they may not be the only ones whose best bet is divorce. Perhaps the Greys could live in a country which recognizes health care as a fundamental right, and which provides access to medicine and care while allowing the two to remain married.

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