Children’s medical needs leave single mother struggling financially

Holly Viers • Dec 24, 2017 at 12:00 PM

KINGSPORT — As a single mother of three young children, Elizabeth Casey is doing her best to make ends meet, but it hasn’t been easy.

With two biological daughters — 7-year-old Kaitlynd and 2-year-old Amiayah — and an adopted 3-year-old son, Isaac, Casey said her financial situation has been stressful, to say the least.

She receives no child support from her children’s father, and medical expenses, particularly for her youngest daughter, have been piling up.

“My 2-year-old has epilepsy,” Casey explained. “We’ve been having to go see neurologists like crazy, have EEGs over and over, (and I’ve been) having to miss work because of them.”

Epilepsy, as defined by the Epilepsy Foundation, is a chronic disorder characterized by “recurrent, unprovoked seizures.” Since Amiayah was diagnosed with the disorder about a year ago, Casey and her family have been traveling to and from Knoxville for Amiayah to receive treatment.

Amiayah can’t go to day care because of her condition, so Casey is able to work only part time. While Casey is at work, her mother steps in to help.

“She helps with babysitting and making sure if I have to go to work that she’s watching them,” Casey said. “She tries to help me with appointments too, but it’s hard because my dad’s disabled.”

The medical expenses don’t stop there, though. Casey said her oldest daughter has ADHD and recently had surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids.

Meanwhile, Casey said, her adopted son is seeing specialists for problems that were present when she gained custody of him from his biological mother.

“When I got him, he was underweight, he was behind in his shots; he was bad,” Casey said. “He didn’t talk or anything, so we’ve been having to go to OT and anger management teachers and all of that.”

With funds running low this Christmas season, Casey said she applied for assistance from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and was accepted.

“I’m grateful,” Casey said, “because there’s no way, with me having three kids and not getting any financial help, that I would be able to give them what they deserve.”

You can support families like the Caseys by donating to the Times News Rescue Fund. This year’s fundraising goal is $60,000, the same as last year.

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