Lauren's Story

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Lauren Lewis

Lauren began her freshman year of college in 2018. Unfortunately, it was the same year she had a terrible car accident. Her time in the hospital contributed to her academic suspension later in the year. It was a difficult and depressing school term.

While on suspension, Lauren started receiving enormous hospital bills. These payment requests would scare a 30-year-old professional. So, you can imagine how traumatizing and intimidating it was for 19-year-old Lauren.

With her academic career already in jeopardy, almost before it even started, she was on the fence about paying to go back to school and having to pay for hospital bills simultaneously or solely working to pay the bills off. She decided to do the latter. Even working full-time, it took three years to pay it off.

Lauren’s medical care took care of her physical injuries from the car accident, but the aftermath had a lasting mental impact. After paying off the debt, she was unsure what to do next. Being out of school for so long made her question if she could start all over again.

Lauren fell into a depressed state that she struggled with immensely. She was hesitant to get help for her sadness and confusion. Once she built the strength to talk to a professional, she felt her doctors did not take her seriously. It made it harder for her to express herself. The uncaring attitude of her doctors at a fragile time made her feel like she was pathetic. She started to internalize more and keep a lot of things to herself.

The sadness jarred Lauren’s memory of the stories she’d heard from her mother and grandmother. They had also sought care but did not receive it until the last minute. Unfortunately, having to experience such a poor bedside manner helped her relate to and understand the generational mistreatment she’d been hearing about for years. They choose to only seek medical help in emergencies because of it.