A family is nearly debt-free thanks to RIP Medical Debt and a Clarksville church

Medical Debt
Posted at 6:35 PM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 21:47:37-04

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Jessica Peter knows better than most, how life can be full of surprises. "I found out I was pregnant in May 2015," said Peter. "And then we found out from the doctor - oh they’re twins."

Some of those surprises can be a blessing, but others can be more serious, like when Jessica found out her boys in-utero had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

"Only identical twins can get it where they share a placenta but one twin takes the majority of it and the other only gets a little bit of it," said Peter.

Emergency surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital saved their lives, but it also hastened their arrival. Jaden and Caden were born three months premature. Then came another problem.

Her husband's construction job ended, meaning they were without medical insurance while their boys were staying in the Erlanger Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. "For 11 days in NICU without insurance, that’s expensive," said Peter.

Five and a half years later, those tiny babies have turned into little rascals. They're now five years old and about to start Kindergarten in the fall.

But as the boys have grown, so has their mountain of medical bills. At one point, it was as high as $600,000. Some of that has been paid off by the Peter family, but they assumed they would still be paying long after these boys have kids of their own. "I try to pay them off but more keep coming," she said.

Just when Jessica thought she could never pay off all that debt, she got something else in the mail. The letter was from RIP Medical Debt and said the following, "We are pleased to inform you, no longer owe the referenced debt to the provider listed in this letter."

Jessica was skeptical until she saw the NewsChannel 5 story about how Madison Street United Methodist Church in Clarksville was so inspired by our campaign to end medical debt in Tennessee, they started their own effort. In all, the Clarksville-based church covered nearly $120,000 worth of their bills.

"They are amazing, God is amazing and he works through so many people. Angels come in so many forms, even in humans," she said.

Another reminder, that life is full of surprises and most of them end up being a blessing.

If you or someone you know received a yellow or white envelope from RIP Medical Debt recently, NewsChannel 5 wants to hear from you. Email or