Medical Bills Paid By Friends’ Bills

, , , , | | Hopeless | May 30, 2018

(I stop in the pharmacy to get some medications for my husband, who recently lost his job because of a medical condition. We were already on income support because I am physically disabled and this has been a hard hit to our income. We just found out the income support system is about to revoke our benefits unless we can prove that he does not willfully leave his job by the end of the month. With a toddler and both of us needing the medical coverage, this is terrifying. Our normal doctor is on maternity leave until January of next year and her covers won’t help us because they don’t want to deal with the system. The same story goes with every doctor we see. They all insist they need to have been seeing us for at least three months before they’ll even consider it. Neither of us have any family or support, as we were both runaways from abuse. By this point, I am counting change, trying to figure out if I have enough to get the medication we both desperately need.)

Stranger: *taps me on the shoulder* “Hey, let me get that for you.” *tries to shove a ten dollar bill in my hand*

Me: *close to tears* “Oh, no! I really can’t. Thanks, anyway.” *tries to give it back*

Stranger: “Nah, keep it. Or, hey, tell you what…” *hands me a twenty and takes the ten back* “There. Fair trade.”

(By now I was seriously crying and didn’t notice the older man’s mother coming up beside me. Gently she took me by the elbow and they both lead me away from the pharmacy counter. They started asking me questions and I admitted that we were struggling and how scared I was. They started brainstorming between the two of them and gave me numbers to doctors they trusted. They took my email and gave me their phone numbers just in case. As a last thing, they took the twenty-dollar bill, and the man shoved a bunch of money into my bag, saying he wouldn’t take no for an answer and just to pass it on when I had the chance to help someone else. I realized that yes, I needed that help right then. I stopped fighting, figuring it was at most forty bucks but would help pay my kid’s school fees. When I got home and took the money out, I was shocked to see that instead of just a small amount, he’d put five hundred dollars into my bag. That money did help keep us afloat for the next week as we paid bills. We finally found a doctor willing to help us and our income has since stabilized. I told the stranger, who is now a supporter and friend, that we’d pay him back. He refused and told me to help others, instead. I plan to.)

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