UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation helps family afford surgery to help son hear

Virgil’s story

Whether he’s playing with his twin sister and older siblings or dancing around the living room, 2-year-old Virgil is always laughing and giggling.

“He just goes with the flow and is very content,” said Kori, Virgil’s mom.

“There is nothing that gets him down. He’s smiling,” adds Cliff, Virgil’s dad. “Even after he had his surgery, all the nurses were just amazed at how good of a mind frame he was in.”

While Virgil was born with a natural smile that can light up a room, it was about six months after his birth Virgil’s parents noticed he wasn’t being alerted to loud noises.

“You could walk into a room and walk up behind Virgil, clap your hands really loud and he wouldn’t shutter or anything,” Kori said.

Kori and Cliff took Virgil to see an ear, nose and throat doctor and eventually discovered that Virgil was born with enlarged adenoids that pushed against his eustachian tubes, causing Virgil to have difficulty hearing.

In April of 2023, Virgil had an adenoidectomy and tubes placed in his ears. An auditory brainstem response (ABR) test revealed Virgil no longer has hearing issues.

“You could notice his reaction to stuff, which was just a complete difference from what he was before,” Cliff said. “It was really a neat experience to see that it had really changed for him.”

The surgery for Virgil put financial strain on Cliff and Kori, but through the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF), they qualified for a grant to help cover some of the costs.

“UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation is a blessing to this family,” Kori said. “They have really just come in and given us the opportunity to not be stressed about money financially.”

In addition to helping with Virgil’s surgery, UHCCF also provided financial assistance when Virgil’s older brother Sully needed surgery to combat ear and throat infections in 2020.

“To have an organization like UHCCF that has so many great donors and people that are involved in it,” Cliff said, “to be able to do this for people like us is just amazing. It is one of the greatest resources for kids I think that is out there.”

Since 2005, UHCCF has awarded more than 34,000 grants valued at over $70 million. The funding pays for children’s medical expenses not covered, or not fully covered, by a commercial health insurance plan.

The goal is to support families like Virgil’s so they can focus on what’s most important – improving their child’s quality of life. The grants help cover medical services and equipment like various therapies, counseling services, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs and more.

Is your child eligible?

  • Grant recipients must be 16 years old or younger at the time of application
  • Must meet eligible income requirements
  • Must be 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.

Do you know a family who could benefit from a children’s medical grant? The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation will begin accepting grant applications, starting Sept. 1. Visit UHCCF.org for more information on how to apply.

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