John and Regina Foutch's struggles with medical debt made it difficult to get by. NBC 5 viewers stepped up to help, and we were able to deliver the good news.
We first met John and Regina Foutch next to their damaged mailbox.
“You gotta put a screw in it,” said Regina.
“I’m going to”, responded John.
John didn't care much to fix that mailbox. He says it's always filled with bills.
That is until one day when the couple got their golden ticket — a letter from the charity RIP Medical Debt, saying an $1,145 medical bill had been paid off using a donation from NBC Owned Television Stations.
“This is the first good news we got out of this mailbox in years,” John said.
The couple shared with us how tough life has been lately. John was a master horse trainer, buying horses people thought didn't have what it took to race and turned them into champions, until he couldn't any more.
“I had my 11th, 13th stroke,” recalled John.
It kept him off the race circuit, making no money and racking up medical bills.
“They called me every day from different places saying, ‘Mr 'Foust,' you owe this, you owe that.’ I said, I’ll tell you the same thing I did when they did the work. I don't have the money,” said John.
“We're living on what little check I draw to try to pay the light bill and the water bill, and try to have a little money left over to get a little food to eat," Regina added.
Their struggle inspired many of you to donate like we did and help RIP Medical Debt buy more medical bills for pennies on the dollar for people like the Foutchs.
That's not where this story ends.
We visited John and Regina again recently and delivered a check for $500 and a note from a viewer in Fort Worth, who's battling a cancer diagnosis, but still was inspired.
It said, "We heard you saying how it was hard to get from day to day. We wanted to make sure you both treat yourself to a little celebration.”
John and Regina called the gift a blessing, and said they would go out for a “good supper” and let Regina save the rest and stretch the dollar for their needs.
Then we handed them a second check, for another $500, from yet another viewer who wanted to help. John and Regina said they also got a card in the old trusty mailbox with a $50 bill inside.
“That old mail box has produced some good news the last month for sure,” said Foutch.
They thanked everyone for their help.
NBC 5 is still working to help more people like the Foutch's eliminate medical bills through RIP Medical Debt, a charity able to buy $100 dollars worth of medical debt for just $1.
If you'd like to help us reach more families, donate here.