UNION, KY (FOX19) - A local family of seven is scrambling because of the federal government shutdown. Two of the children have serious medical expenses.
“It is a struggle, very hard,” Lora, a stay-at-home mom, said “For my family, he is the breadwinner of our house.”
Lora’s husband has worked for the IRS in Union, Kentucky for seven years. He says he’s been through government shutdowns before but none have lasted this long.
The federal government has been shut down since Dec. 22, meaning employees like Lora’s husband have gone without paychecks.
“Any missing paycheck is hard, especially when we were already struggling,” Lora said.
Their children range in age from 13 to 2 years old.
“We’re running out of necessities and ways to feed our children and that’s hard,” Lora said.
The family says they’ve been asked to pay premiums out-of-pocket to keep their health insurance.
“We’re not always able to make it at this point. Not for the gas to make it to Cincinnati, not for the food when we go, not for co-pays, and not for the medicine," Lora said.
Their 3-year-old son has a rare eye disease, causing him to lose his vision. The family says he’s slowly going blind, and with tunnel vision, he cannot see in the dark.
Their youngest daughter was born with a cleft lip and palette, meaning more visits to the hospital. She goes in and out to make sure her speech is OK. She also has ear tubes and her face has to be reconstructed.
Despite the roadblocks, a Clermont County organization led by Ashley Patton is helping families like this with food donations.
“Try to have empathy. Try to think about the unexpected things that can come up in your own life. Not everyone has family to help them,” Patton said.
The family says before people judge them, know that they’re doing the best they can.
“We have savings and things but those things go quick,” Lora said.