Critical Illness: The emotional and financial challenges

Critical Illness Cover is something that we take out and hope we never have to use. I always say to clients that if it gets to the end of the term of the policy and you haven’t had to use your policy, then you have won the lottery because you are still fit and healthy. Unfortunately for others, sometimes things can happen unexpectedly and following diagnosis of a critical illness, the stress of daily life still goes on.

My client has very kindly offered to share her family’s experience of when she discovered her mum had a brain tumour and the challenges which that brought – both emotionally and financially.

How would you describe your childhood?

We were a very busy family, always out and about doing activities. As my dad was the sole earner in the household and had four children to support financially, we didn’t have the money to go on regular holidays. Instead, every few years we would save up and visit my sisters in Australia and other family members.

How did you feel when you found out your mum had her tumour?

I was sixteen when we found out that my Mum was ill and up until that point, she had always been fit and healthy. It was a very sudden occurrence. One evening she told us she had a bad headache and was feeling sensitive to the lights. We could tell something wasn’t right. Dad took her to the hospital where she then collapsed, and a scan showed a golf ball-sized tumour on her brain. It wasn’t until after the surgery that I realised how lucky we were to get mum to the hospital when we did, because if we didn’t, the outcome may have been very different.

What impact did this have on your family?

I am very close to my mum and when you’re growing up, you always think your parents are invincible. As my dad was the sole earner in the household, he had to take some time off work initially to help care for my mum. This added extra stress on us as a family from an income perspective because while my dad was not working, we did not have an income coming into the household so we had to make some financial cutbacks. After a couple of months, my Uncle came over from Australia to help care for my mum which allowed my dad to go back to work.

How did your Critical Illness Cover help your family when you needed it most?

On the basis that my dad was the sole earner in the household, my parent’s financial adviser recommended having critical illness cover in place should he get seriously ill, which could result in a sudden loss of income for the family.

By having this cover in place, the pay-out helped us as a family cope financially with day to day life – particularly in organising transport to allow me to go to college. My mum was given a dedicated nurse who helped ‘hold her hand’ through her recovery. This made a huge difference from an emotional perspective and my mum is still good friends with the nurse to this day. After my mum had made a full recovery, we decided to use the remaining proceeds from the policy to go on a long-overdue holiday.

Now your mum has fully recovered, what is her life like now and what advice would you give to others?

My mum is doing brilliantly now and sometimes we forget what she has been through because she takes everything in her stride. I am in the process of buying my first home and having been through the experience of mum’s illness, I am fully aware of how important it is to have things like protection in place. Although I have always kept fit and healthy, I understand life can throw some bumps in the road at times and I believe it is important to protect myself – both financially and emotionally – should anything go wrong.

If you’re interested in finding out more about anything that has been discussed above or if you have any questions relating to critical illness cover, get in touch with our Financial Advisor, Chris Wilson, today either by email: CWilson@gilsongrayfinancial.co.uk or phone: 07557 343 588

You can also visit our Financial Services page here.

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