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The high price of getting two Pennsylvania teens to prom

The lives of teenagers are full of drama. Most of the time, the sources of these dramas are painfully common. Conflicts with other kids at school. Unrequited crushes. Troubles in class. But sometimes teen dramas can involve deadly car crashes and heartwarming recoveries.

As the Reading Eagle reported, this was recently the case for two students from Governor Mifflin High. Their first date was interrupted by an auto accident.

Encouraging, but still expensive

The story the newspaper related was an uplifting take on the teen couple’s romance and recovery. However, there was another side to the story that went untold-the steep cost of recovery. The accident stole their time. It caused them to suffer. They found themselves bound to wheelchairs until they could regain the strength to walk. And it cost money.

How much money? The story didn’t offer any specific amounts, but we know some things that can give us a clue.

The accident led to hospital stays

The boy was in the hospital for eight days before he was transferred to a rehab facility. According to the non-profit Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the average daily cost for a Pennsylvania hospital stay in 2017 was $2,397. That number has risen every year the KFF has on file, so it’s safe to expect that figure was more than $2,400 per day in 2019 for a total hospital bill of close to $20,000.

The teens‘ recoveries involved more than hospital treatment

The boy’s release from the hospital didn’t signal the end of his recovery. After the hospital, he went to a rehab facility. The article said the boy was still recovering at the time of prom. In 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) estimated the average lifetime cost of a car crash resulting in serious injury at just over $1.5 million per person.

This happy ending has an underwriter

It’s always encouraging to read about people who have bounced back from their accidents and injuries. But it’s also worth remembering that those recoveries cost money. If the teens and their families can pair their physical recoveries with the funds to cover their medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering and loss of life’s pleasures, that may be the real happy ending.