An Arkansas woman who spent more than a month in the hospital while she battled COVID-19 owes nearly $1 million in medical bills.
Shenita Russie, 42, contracted the virus while she worked as a mobile respiratory therapist in Boston in 2020. After falling gravely ill, she was hospitalized in Little Rock to be near her family and was placed in a medically-induced coma, Newsweek reported.
When she received her medical bill from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Baptist Health, Russie was in disbelief, THV-11 reported.
"I mean it was close to a million dollars just for how sick I was on life support," Russie said.
Although her worker’s compensation will act in place of her insurance, it will only cover some of her medical costs. While her payments with the medical institutions are still being settled, she will be held financially responsible for the balance.
Russie has been warned that if she neglects to pay her medical bills, they will be sent to collections which could have detrimental effects on her credit score.
She created aGoFundMe to get financial assistance, however, it no longer appears to be online, Business Insider reported.
Since being released from the hospital, Russie said that she has trouble breathing, unable to walk without a cane and hasn’t been able to work since contracting the virus. She added that as a result, she suffers from PTSD.
Russie is now receiving treatment from Baptist Health in order to fully recover from the virus and says she has to pay even more money for consultations with a cardiologist and rehabilitation.
Russie is just one of many in the country who are struggling to pay their astronomical medical bills after battling COVID-19, CNN reported.
She has encouraged those who remain unvaccinated to reconsider their choice so that they don’t end up in her position or worse.