Couple Faces Million Dollar Hospital Bill For Son's Premature Birth

| by Kathryn Schroeder

The premature arrival of an Australian couple’s son while on vacation in Hawaii may end up costing them over a million dollars in medical expenses.

Kylie Lovejoy and Brendan Wright of Brisbane were snorkeling in Hawaii last month when Lovejoy started to feel something was not right.

“A few days into our holiday, I was 26 weeks (6 months pregnant) and was enjoying a night snorkel with the Manta Rays in Kona," Lovejoy wrote on the You Caring crowdfunding page that has been set up to assist her family with medical bill payments. "During the snorkel I could feel a strange sensation, like I was going to the bathroom, but not in control of it. After the snorkel it continued to happen on the boat ride back. I was getting pains, but didn’t think they were actually contractions. I was playing it down, saying, 'Lets just go back to the hotel and Google it, it might be no big deal.' Once I Googled, and my partner called his nurse Mum in Australia, it was clear we needed to get to the hospital pronto. It was my amniotic fluid that had begun to leak.”

The Kona hospital Lovejoy went to was not equipped to deliver a baby as premature, so she had to be transported via aircraft to Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, reports The Daily Mail.

“The Doctors didn’t want baby to come, as 26 weeks is very early, even in premmie terms, and as my amniotic sac had a tear and was leaking fluid, they advised me that I would now be in hospital with limited movement for what they were hoping was 8 weeks or so until baby reached 32 weeks, which was a safer time to be delivered,” Lovejoy wrote. “I was still getting mild contractions, but the Doctors said they were stable, and far apart enough not to worry and hopefully they will decrease.”

Lovejoy’s contractions continued to get stronger as the day went on and she eventually woke up with an “urgent need to push.”

“Before I knew it, the room was completely full of medical staff, well over a dozen,” Lovejoy wrote. "I was still half asleep ... but I just had to give it my all and push.”

Lovejoy gave birth to a son, Phoenix Koa Wright Lovejoy, 26 weeks early and weighing only 2.75 pounds.

Phoenix is doing well, but his care will require that he stay in Hawaii for at least three months while he develops to a full-term baby in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and is strong enough for the trip home to Australia.

The issue looming over the family’s head now is the cost involved in a three-month stay in Hawaii.

"My travel insurance will cover my medical bills, which is great because I'd hate to think how much the medivac flight alone would be ... but at the moment it's still uncertain if anything further will be covered," Lovejoy wrote.

“However, my travel insurance does not cover Baby Phoenix and his medical bills,” she adds.

Lovejoy was told his medical care will exceed one million dollars.

“We are pursuing every avenue possible to gain appropriate health insurance to pay for Phoenix’s medical bill,” Lovejoy wrote. “He is now a US citizen and we are hopeful for a positive outcome.”

The You Caring crowdfunding campaign to help pay for Phoenix’s medical bills has so far raised $6,909 of its $50,000 goal.

Sources: The Daily Mail, You Caring / Photo credit: The Daily Mail