A little bit about our family… We are three single parents who were brought together and created an unconventional family for our children.
I am a divorced single mother of two, who for the past seven years, has been living with and caring for my disabled grandfather in his home. He died unexpectedly on January 7, 2020, and I experienced one of the greatest losses of my life. I felt like I had lost a child; and to this day, that feeling just won’t go away. I am the sole heir to his estate— he left me mine and my girls’ home. There was no life insurance, and I was able to donate his body to science so that his brain could be studied in the hopes that no family ever has to go through something similar. I am not someone who asks for help, and this is very hard to do. Fast forward to March of this year. I received a letter from Medicaid demanding almost $13,000 for personal care services received eleven years ago. I was told by two lawyers and Medicaid that the debt has to be paid in full by December 26. If not, his only asset (my only home) will be confiscated and sold. I have exhausted every option I can imagine over the last eight months. With this deadline now thirty days away, I am telling my story in the hopes that someone who is able to help us can and will help us save our home. I put my family ahead of my career, and I have absolutely no regrets. Taking care of Grandpa all these years has been an honor; in doing so, I was able to help him fulfill his wishes of staying in his home until his death.
I have been Krystal’s best friend for over ten years. I left an abusive marriage in March 2019 to save my teenage daughter, and Grandpa lovingly took us into his home without a second thought. He said his home is my home for as long as we need it. Fast forward to July 2019. I met a great guy with three wonderful children who had recently been abandoned by their mom. We were both in a dark place in our lives, and we were able to connect and bring each other back into the light. Krystal had the crazy idea to move them all in when I found out I was pregnant in October 2019, and Grandpa was ecstatic that he would have more grandchildren to love. That meant eleven people in our home, and chaos absolutely ensued.
I am Jessica’s fiancé. I am the father of the “Gremlins”, as they’re so affectionately called. In January 2019, the mother of my children walked out of our lives and left me to pick up my pieces and all three of their pieces too. Working 40 plus hours a week, trying to take care of 3 kids and a home, on top of having our lives shattered took its toll. I was in a very dark place. Fast forward to July 2019 when I met Jessica. I met somebody to not only help me pick up my pieces, but she also filled in the pieces I never knew were missing. I thought it was a crazy idea when we were invited to move in, but I knew we all needed to be together as a family because we all needed each other. I knew these six kids needed all three adults, as well as knowing we were adding a seventh child.
Fast forward to January 7, 2020. Our family was shaken to the core with the loss of our Superman, our rock. Saying goodbye and trying to move on with our lives has been extremely difficult learning how to live again. Just when we get a handle on things, there seems to be more salt in the wound. We took care of Grandpa, and we were under the impression and understanding that the house was Krystal’s free and clear according to the will. Even with the loss of Grandpa, we had a home together, and had a way to pick each other up after our loss. Grandpa was larger than life, he opened his home to all of us without any hesitation. His saying… “The more, the merrier”. He wanted to make sure that everyone was taken care of and had a home when he was gone. He didn’t want anybody to have fears or concerns that there was no home to stay in.
In March of this year, we received a bill from HMS (Medicaid) for almost $13,000 due immediately. After consultation with a lawyer, we discovered I am entitled to the remainder of the estate after all debts have been settled. The only asset is our home. This was to be expected that some bills would be due after death— just not for services rendered eleven years ago that Medicaid already paid the provider for. We had no idea that Medicaid would demand repayment for services after death, specifically personal care services. If he had no assets like the home, then Medicaid would simply write off the bill and never contact me again. I had no way of knowing that this could have been prevented had we put the house in my name prior to his death. It baffles me that Medicaid will not accept a payment plan or settlement to satisfy the debt. With Covid and the loss of income over the last eight months, we have not been able to raise the funds needed to save our home. On a daily basis, individual things are manageable— clothes and shoes for the kids, vehicle maintenance, household bills, etc. Our family does not have the discretionary income to pay a large bill like this. There is no way for the property to generate income. We have been disappointed around every corner and in every conversation with others to try and fix this- debt collectors, attorneys, even lenders.
Over the last year, five of the seven children attend therapy sessions to focus on coping with absent parents and past traumas experienced. These children have bonded as siblings and have each individually blossomed with the love of our family. It is not in their best interest to be separated. We could find somewhere new to rent, but very few places would take three adults, seven children, a dog, five cats, and three turtles. We understand how odd our family dynamics are to anyone on the outside, but our children are happy, healthy, and safe in a non-judgmental home filled with lots of laughter and love.
To other people, our home may just be four walls. For us, this place has saved each of us by allowing us to come together and heal and become a family. We have been blessed beyond measure, and we need to be blessed just one more time. We cannot lose the one stable thing that Grandpa tried to leave behind. We cannot lose his legacy— he only wanted these kids to have the world and each other.
If you can find it in your heart to give, please do. If not, please share our story. Thank you from the Spivey-Hutto-Lusk family.
- Taylor Marsh
- Kimberly Martin
- Daryl ONeal
- Misti Lee
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more