British Couple, Stranded In U.S. After Their Baby Was Born Prematurely, Is Off The Hook For $200,000 Bill

Imagine being stranded in a foreign city with no money, no friends, and no place to stay. Now imagine enduring that while your baby, born prematurely, clings to life in a hospital. Now you have an idea of what Katie Amos and Lee Johnston of Lincolnshire, England, have been going through for the past several weeks. Fortunately, the hospital where Baby Dax has been cared for has forgiven the couple of their nearly $200,000 bill, the Guardian is reporting.

The couple’s plight began on December 26, when they came to New York for one last vacation before their baby was to be born. Unfortunately for Mom Katie, Baby Dax wasn’t interested in the timetable for his birth and decided to show up 11 weeks early. While on a sightseeing trip, Mom went into labor and Dax was born, weighing only three pounds, at Manhattan’s Lenox Hill Hospital that night, according to the Lincolnshire Echo.

Baby Dax was born so prematurely that he would need to stay in the hospital at least through March. The couple, however, was on vacation, and they soon found themselves out of a hotel room, out of money, out of food, and even out of clean clothes, to say nothing of the tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills they were facing.

For the short term, Ronald MacDonald House put them up while friends and family back home in England set up a Facebook page to raise money for the struggling family.

Today, the family got the best possible news: the hospital has agreed to cover the entire cost of their nearly $200,000 stay. The hospital issued a statement explaining how they intend to help the family.

“Lenox Hill Hospital continues to work with the insurance carrier regarding payment approvals for all services rendered by the hospital, anesthesia and physician services from their insurance carrier. We will ensure that there will be no financial impact to the family. In addition, our staff has been going above and beyond to ease the overall experience for the family, from arranging a place to live for the duration of their stay to helping them communicate with their family in the UK.”

Unfortunately, the family’s plight is far from over. Dad Lee is self-employed, and Mom Katie only has her maternity leave pay to get them by. Back home, their rent still needs to be paid.

However, as of this post, it looks as if the publicity surrounding their plight has resulted in plenty of donations to cover the family’s costs while they’re away. In a statement on the family’s Facebook page, the administrator has promised to donate any extra money to the Ronald MacDonald Foundation.

[Image courtesy of the Mirror]

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