Fighting with debt

Published 10:41 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2011

After battling with a numerous ear infections, medical procedures and the resulting bills, Carolann Lynch’s family was able to pay off a $7,000 debt with the help of friends and community members.

After a December fundraising event, the family was able to pay off their debt, but the issues for Carolann are not over. She had another surgery earlier this month.

“I would like to thank everyone that donated stuff and made a donation,” said Linda Lynch, Carolann’s mother. “I would like to thank those that are still contributing to the fund.”

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The Carolann Lynch Fund still is open at the BB&T on Bridge Road.

Lynch said she pleasantly surprised by the generosity of the people in Suffolk.

“I couldn’t believe all the people that donated stuff and made a donation,” she said. “It was really wonderful. It helped a lot.”

Through the “Christmas for Carolann” event held in December and the money donated at the bank, the family was able to raise $5,000. Combined with a check of $1,500 from the Robert Bennett Trust Fund and family contributions, the money paid off the medical debt. The Lynch family is using the remaining funds to pay for Carolann’s current accumulated debt from doctor’s visits and from her most recent procedure on Feb. 8 at CHKD.

During the most recent procedure, doctors cleaned her ears and put in new tubes. They also did tests they hope will reveal the cause of her chronic ear infections.

Carolann has been having ear infections since she was two months old. She has had a number of procedures, including more than eight surgeries and seven sets of tubes.

The family will find out the results of the most recent tests during her next doctor’s appointment on March 22. During this appointment, the family will find out if Carolann needs a hearing aid priced at $2,000. She is currently used a hearing aid borrowed from the CHKD Loan Bank. She is scheduled to return it on March 16.

Lynch said they don’t know what they will do in the time between when the hearing aide is due to be returned and the time of Carolann’s next appointment. Lynch has been contacting Carolann’s doctors hoping that the results will come in sooner than her next doctor’s appointment.

“If I don’t have to purchase it, I don’t want to purchase it,” she said. “We’re waiting to see what’s going to happen after the appointment.”

“We won’t know anything until all the cultures come back,” Lynch said.

The family is anticipating hefty bills from the last procedure, but they have yet to receive a statement from the hospital.

In the meantime, all they can do is wait.