Couple May Divorce to Pay for Daughter's Health Care

Maria and Jake Grey are considering an unpleasant option
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2018 3:00 PM CDT

Six-year-old Brighton Grey has a rare illness that costs her parents $15,000 a year and may force them to file for divorce, KTRK reports. Maria and Jake Grey make sure Brighton has full-time care because her rare disorder, Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, limits her vision and hearing and keeps her at the developmental level of a baby. "You know when you have a newborn, everything gets really stressful," Maria tells WFAA. "You really have to adapt to someone needing you 24-7 all the time. We've had a newborn for six and a half years." But with Jake's $40,000 salary, the real issue for this North Texas couple is money.

While there is state assistance, tens of thousands are on waiting lists and Brighton has appeared on one list at 59,979. And the Greys can't get Medicaid because of Jake's salary. So they're considering a divorce that would make Maria an unemployed mother of two who can qualify for Medicaid. "It would just be to get a divorce. It would be to not be together to get our child what we need," says Maria. Army veteran Jake calls the move "morally wrong" but says "it's conflicting for me too, because I feel like what's happening to us is morally wrong." A Forth Worth doctor seems to get it: "They really are in a tough spot," says Thad Miller. "It's just shocking, and I really think it speaks to our need to really rethink what we do and how especially for the most vulnerable." (More illness stories.)

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