When a health emergency occurs, every attempt is made to get the medical care required and families look for ways to buckle down and survive the crisis. Many are able to, but some health problems are more complicated and can last a lifetime. When that happens, everything is threatened, including the very home that provides sanctuary for the sick family member. When medical debt spirals out of control, the economic stability of the entire family is at risk.

One California couple is doing what it can to weather the storm surrounding their 10-year-old daughter. The girl was born with kidney problems, which did not allow her to grow at a normal pace. Over the past 10 years, her life has been a combination of constant medications and a search for a compatible kidney donor. It is very difficult to find a donor child for a suitable kidney. When one could not be located, the child's mother donated her own.

The operations were a success and the girl experienced an immediate growth spurt. Hope had replaced fear until the family learned the girl's body was rejecting the kidney. Feeling as if they must start all over again, the child now requires medical treatments four days a week at UCLA Medical Center. The mother had to quit her job as a manager at Target and the family has fallen three months behind on their mortgage payments. While community members have stepped up and organized fundraisers to help, the medical debt is threatening to consume everything for which the family has worked.

Throughout California, there are many families with medical bills that have taken over their lives. When there is no end in sight, some families benefit from the advice and assistance of an attorney dedicated to helping people solve their debt relief issues. Often, bankruptcy can be used as a tool to negotiate with creditors and create a plan designed to breathe financial life into a desperate situation.

Source: KERO-TV 23, "Medical Bills Could Cost Family Their Home," Cris Ornelas, Sept. 2, 2011