Brain injuries no only take a horrific physical and emotional toll on patients and their families, they can also take a financial toll.
Such is the case with the Granelli family of Stanhope, N.J., who are in financial ruin after Karen Granelli, 55, suffered a burst aneurism and stroke about three years ago. Her story was chronicled by Star-Ledger columnist Bob Braun on Monday, in an article with the headline, “A terrible affliction, an unbearable debt.”
Karen and her husband Joesph had been doing well, essentially untouched by the recession, prior to her illness. She was a rehabilitation counselor. He was a quality assurance engineer who moonlighted as an appliance salesman, according to Braun. Their daughter Sarah was attending Seton Hall University.
But then Karen had a stroke, which ended up paralyzing her.
In the wake of that life-altering experience, the Granellis are losing everything they worked so hard to get because of their staggering medical bills.
The couple is in bankruptcy and their home is in foreclosure, according to Braun. Their daughter had to drop out of college. And the Granellis are responsible for medical bills “for more than $650,000 not covered by insurance or limited by the bankruptcy filing,” Braun wrote.
The medical bills are for several weeks that Karen was hospitalized. As Braun points out, Joseph Granelli’s $1 million medical insurance’s lifetime cap was reached quite quickly. This is the kind of problem anyone with a brain injury could face.
“The Granellis aren’t the only people in trouble because of their medical bills, but their story is remarkable because they hit the bottom so fast — despite spending their lives doing everything right,” Braun wrote.
And that’s wrong.