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Disabled and Deep in Debt


by P.V. L








Disabled and Deep in Debt

by P.V. L in , USA

Help me become self sufficeint again

We are a family of four who have each had multiple challenges to face in our lives. I am a 51 year old man who was abandoned by his father at six months old. My mother couldn’t cope with this and suffered a breakdown and was institutionalized for nearly 15 years.

I was then raised by two sets of foster parents. All of them were good people. My first foster father was an alcoholic who was a kind man who never raised his voice and never missed a day’s work. He also never took care of himself. He died when I was 5 years old and my foster mother soon followed after she broke her hip and was put in a nursing home (both of them were on their mid-60s when they took me in.

I was taken in by my second foster parents when who did what they could to support me. They both worked and we were not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. Throughout my entire childhood I never lived in a house but lived in apartments. I was never supposed to go to college but entered a vocational school when I was in high school. I managed to win a scholarship while I was there and then another scholarship. Between that, working, and a small student loan I was able to pay for college and my living expenses. I was doing well in college when, during a trip to visit college friends I was hit by an ATV and spent the next 7 months in the hospital. The hospital stay ended when my leg was amputated at the age of 24.

I will admit for a time I was depressed and did nothing to help myself. Eventually I realized I needed to get on with my life so I changed my major and went to college for prosthetics and orthotics. I graduated at the top of my class and began a career in healthcare helping people like me regain their function and independence again.

Along the way I met my wife, indirectly because of my friendship with the man who hit me with the ATV (we are still friends as it was an accident, and he is an honorable and decent person who has often been there for me). We were married and all was good for the first few years together. Around the birth of our first child that began to change.

My daughter was born with a heart condition, which while treatable, has caused obvious stress financially and emotionally. At the same time my foster parents and my biological mother all became very ill and needed both home and hospital care for the next three years. During that period the hospital I was working for began cost cuts requiring me to seek another job. From 2002 to 2004 both my foster and biological mother all passed away. During this period my second child, a son, was born. The birth was an emergency C-section that almost ended in tragedy. Thankfully both of them made it through. The combination of all these things wiped out my savings and caused my family a great deal of financial and emotional damage, but we did the best we could and moved on.

For a time things seemed to be improving. We had the normal stresses a family has, but we were paying the bills and I was rebuilding our savings. We sent our little girl to school and all was going well. Things became more complicated when our daughter was assaulted in first grade and neither the principle nor anyone else felt they could do anything about it. Our desire to educate our children in a safe and supportive environment lead us to homeschool. Just the same we adapted. My wife became teacher to our children and I provided the financial support. That changed in 2011 when I was downsized out of my job. During that period we also found that my son had an eye condition that would require surgery or else could result in possible blindness in one eye. For a year I was out of work and again spent all of my savings (including retirement and my children’s education savings) to provide for my family.

Thankfully I found a new job in 2012 but it required me to move from the east coast to the mid-West. I am gainfully employed but we continue to homeschool our children means my wife cannot work. We stand by this decision, but to really educate them properly requires more financial resources than most people realize. My children have done always very well academically. State tests always place them in the in the 95th to 99th percentile in comparison to their peers.

My children are also very gifted musicians. My daughter has won both state and local competitions in both piano and violin. Her younger brother plays cello and piano and has also won multiple competitions. Both are members of our local youth symphony. In addition to their school studies both practice their instruments for 4 – 7 hours a day. My daughter has been asked to go on  a musical exchange program in Europe and I want to support her, but it is very expensive to send her.

I am very proud of them and trying very hard to support them in their pursuits. However the costs what they need are beyond me. I fear I will soon be unable to support their education as they get older, particularly regarding sending them to college.

To add to the financial stress, the house we bought when we moved has turned out to have multiple problems (plumbing, electric, and structural) which have already cost an enormous amount to fix, which I have had to stop repairing due to our ever increasing debt. With that, my children’s education costs, my family’s health issues, and the general expenses involved in supporting a family of four I am now deeply in debt and fear I will soon be forced into bankruptcy and lose everything.  I have always been self-sufficient and provided for my family. My family and I have overcome much but I am afraid we won’t overcome this. I am afraid I will lose my home and my children will never be able to fulfill their potential. I now have over a hundred thousand dollars in debt that I just barely am able to keep paying on each month.

If anything about my position resonates with you, please help. I simply want to recover from this debt, become self-sufficient again, continue working, and support my family.                                          


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