When Kali Parker found out she was pregnant with a little girl, she was over the moon.
“I thought, I have my little princess,” Kali said. “The first moment I saw her, I cried tears of joy.”
As Kali prepared to leave the hospital with her daughter Chloe, her new bundle of joy, the doctor shared the news Kali never expected to hear.
“Doctors performed the routine hearing exam and told me that she had failed the hearing test,” she said.
Chloe was diagnosed with atresia of the ear, a medical condition leaving her deaf in her left ear and partially deaf in her right ear.
At the age of 5, Chloe underwent surgery and began wearing Cochlear Baha bone-anchored hearing implants to help produce nearly 100% of sounds on both sides. She received two UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation medical grants that helped provide financial assistance for the cochlear implants and supporting equipment.
“I remember when she got the implants and they fitted her for the hearing aids for the very first time,” Kali said. “She could hear my voice for the first time clearly. I just cried. To have your child not be able to hear, and then you can see on their face that they can hear you clearly for the first time, it's life changing.”
Now 13 years old, Chloe is a grant recipient of the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation – and has even helped to raise money to support kids with medical needs across the southeast.
“I just want to thank everyone – even those I haven't even met,” Chloe said. “I know for a fact that without the care and everything that they've given to me and my family, I would have never made it along the path where I am today.”
Since 2007, UHCCF has awarded more than $64 million in medical grants to pay for children’s medical expenses not covered, or not fully covered, by a commercial health insurance plan. The grants help cover medical services and equipment like various therapies, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs and more.
Those eligible for medical grants through UHCCF may include:
- Children 16 years old or younger at the time of application
- Those who meet eligible income requirements
- Children under the care of a licensed medical professional with services rendered within the United States
- Primary coverage for a child must be by a commercial health plan, either through an employer or individually purchased. Secondary insurance through Medicaid or CHIP is permissible. Children do not need to be insured by UnitedHealthcare.
The extra support helps provides peace of mind for families like Chloe’s.
“I didn't know there were grants like this,” Kali said. “It was a huge weight lifted off of me to know that I would have help because the stress of the appointments and everything else was already heavy, but the expense was a whole another story. It was more than a grant. It was an all-around support system.”
If you know a child who could benefit from a UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation medical grant, visit the UHCCF website to learn more and apply for a grant.