Nils & Corin Engen, Snohomish, WA
- Total eligible bills
- Provider discounts
- Total bills shared
On January 5, 2012, I contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disorder that causes extreme weakness. The disease onset was rapid; I was hospitalized for eight days followed by three days of rehab.
It was scary to continually grow weaker without knowing what was happening. During the first week, scores of medical tests were performed to rule out major problems (heart-related, stroke, cancer, etc.).
As we waited, God encouraged my wife, Corin, and I with many Bible verses that seemed to come alive. Psalm 18:30 was especially meaningful: “As for God, His way is perfect…” I thought, “Who am I to question what He is allowing to happen in my life?” I felt peace that my sickness was not unto death or a chastisement, but was rather an illness meant to bring glory to God (John 11:4).
By the end of the week, I could barely lift my arm two inches off the hospital bed and couldn’t roll over. At our request, elders from our church came to pray over me and anoint me with oil.
In His mercy, God made that the turning point. The next day saw me improve. I never needed a feeding tube, ventilator or other major support. My rehab therapists were amazed at the speed of my recovery, saying “You don’t need our help!”
In all, my medical bills totaled more than $123,000.
As CHM members for more than 13 years, we knew from experience that we should seek reductions on our medical bills. We’d received help from the ministry for maternity needs and emergencies, but we’d never endured anything that caused such large bills.
We spoke with a hospital financial counselor about getting assistance. We also let CHM staff members know that I was in the hospital.
Though it took time and effort to educate our health care providers about CHM, eventually we obtained 100 percent write-offs on our hospital bills! Other providers soon followed the hospital’s example and reduced their charges. We had an overall cost reduction of more than 98 percent.
In retrospect, I see God’s hand at work preparing us financially for my illness. I am self-employed and last year experienced a significant income drop. The main reasons we qualified for such large bill reductions were my income and the fact that we have seven dependent children.
Regaining my stamina has taken time and I’m still taking blood pressure medicine. However, I’m once again working fulltime and I rejoice in God’s healing. We’re so grateful for the love, generosity and support of our family and our loving church. To God be the glory; great things He has done!