Family of woman in US coma face $1m medical bill
Published 30/04/2010 | 05:00
THE family of an Irish woman who was seriously injured in a car crash in the US are facing a bill of more than $1m (€755,000).
Nicole Ryan-Graham has been in a coma since the car in which she was travelling crashed into a wall in Kansas.
The 27-year-old has since suffered a stroke and her family fear that the medical bills will continue to rocket.
The mother of three grew up in Elton Court, Meelick, Co Clare, but had been living in the US for 18 years. She lost her job as clerk in a courthouse in the first week of January, while her health insurance ran out on February 3.
Five days later she was in the serious crash. A fundraising campaign spearheaded by friends and relatives in Ireland, which has attracted donations from all over the country, has already raised around €20,000.
However, significant sums of money still need to be raised to cover the cost of her ongoing care and expected transfer to a rehabilitation hospital within the next two to three weeks.
Family members are hoping to enter into discussions with US health insurer Medicate to establish if the company will cover the cost of some of her care.
Doctors in Overland Park Regional Hospital in Kansas City are amazed with the tremendous resilience and battling qualities displayed by Nicole, who suffered a setback more than three weeks ago.
The results of an MRI scan on April 12 confirmed she had sustained her third bleed which prompted a stroke and caused problems for her heart valve, blood pressure, temperature and other vital bodily functions.
However, she has continued to make slow but steady progress in recent weeks, responding to commands, touching her face and opening her eyes. An account has been opened at the Bank of Ireland, Castletroy, sort code 90-45-95. The account number is 44058749.