Some of you will remember the story of Lil’ Tait and his early arrival at 27 weeks old. Newly weds and new parents, Tait and Lauren Zimmerman, found in a few short months that the outline for their future suddenly included nearly a million dollars in hospital bills. Our friends the Zimmermans have been diligent and many have helped with the burden, but now the opportunity for being free and clear is within sight.
After the last couple weeks of watching in the media the defense of traditional marriage, something so meaningful to us because we know it provides for children like lil’ Tait, and then the heart-wrenching and ghastly stories emerging around the Gosnell trial which remind us with what fervor we must defend life, and as our hearts turned to follow the stories of loved ones reuniting after the horrors of Boston and others who would now face life without limbs, it is fresh in our minds how dear life is, and when it hangs in the balance, what our duty is on behalf of the least of these.
I remember Tait as a young man, his early sense of sobriety, of maturity, he was always about the business of manhood, with the men and not the boys. It didn’t surprise me that he very quickly took over much responsibility in their family business. To hear straight away that he and his young wife were tested in such a way caused me to pause…would he be the Tait I knew, steady, pulling through? He was and their story has been a great testament of faith.
I contacted my friends Tait and Lauren Zimmerman recently after hearing about their latest fund raising efforts. They got me up to date on where they are at in the financial battle they have been fighting since the first precious life the Lord blessed them with hung in the balance four years ago and they graciously answered some of my questions.
Tait and Lauren now have the opportunity in the next 60 days or so, to be free and clear as negotiations have produced the opportunity to pay down $100,000 in the next 90 days, 30 of which have passed already. Their fund-raising efforts have produced $41,000 and they are very encouraged that they will meet their goals. Will you help? Here is your opportunity to join me in contributing to supporting our convictions about life. Pass the fundraiser around, stay tuned and watch for give-aways and donate. God bless you and thank you for your support.
Q: So, tell us, how is Tait Jr. doing today?
Wonderfully! Praise the Lord, he has no lingering effects from his early birth. He is 4 years old now … healthy, happy, curious, and very anxious to learn how to read just as soon as possible. : )
Q: Does lil’ Tait have any siblings?
Miles Coverdale (3) is Tait Jr’s “Irish Twin,” born just under 11 months after Tait Jr’s arrival. Matthew Maury is almost 2, and our fourth boy, Ian Wallace, just arrived on April 2!
Q: How’s your health Lauren? Are you doing okay?
I’m doing great! We have battled pre-term labor for each pregnancy, and I can usually count on being on about 6-10 weeks of modified bedrest for each baby. We get through it though, with lots of help, support, and prayers from family and friends!
Miles, our second, came 5 weeks early (after 10 weeks of modified bedrest) and needed a week in the NICU; but Matthew and Ian both made it full-term (after 7 and 11 weeks of modified bedrest)!
I’m loving motherhood and these four little boys God has blessed us with!
Q: So, after Lil’ Tait’s premature emergency birth and the professional care necessary to nurture his fragile life, what was the total bill that you were facing when you went home for the first time as new mom with your first born son?
The hospital, doctors’, and other miscellaneous bills added up to just under a million dollars. The hospital bill was the highest, at $750,000. It was rather overwhelming as the bills started coming in, especially as we were expecting our second baby by then. But God is faithful, and we have been so encouraged and blessed.
Q: Has Lil’ Tait had any other medical needs since then?
Other than some initial follow-up after leaving the hospital, he hasn’t had any other medical needs! What a blessing.
Q: I know on your site that you’ve posted information about your financial status, explaining your commitment to pay down the debt and not seek state assistance, that you and your husband are committed to living a budgeted frugal lifestyle, how did the first round of donations help you so far?
Back in 2009, a few months after leaving the hospital, the neonatologists (baby doctors) offered to settle the $186,000 neonatology bill (completely separate from the hospital bill) for $51,000 if it was paid within 90 days. By God’s grace, we were able to raise that money before the deadline and close out that bill.
The hospital has recently agreed to settle their bill ($750,000, then reduced to $350,000) for $100,000, within 90 days. So far, 30 days into fundraising, we’ve been overwhelmingly blessed with $40,000.
Q: What did you see happen by God’s hand through the body of Christ in that time of need?
It has truly been amazing seeing firsthand God’s provision though the Body of Christ! It is humbling to see how so many people have stepped up to help, support, and encourage us. We have been blessed beyond what we could have ever imagined or hoped for.
Q: There are many people who if they had their debt paid off in a year, 10 years or 50 years it would make little eternal difference. How would being debt free position you to be more fruitful for the kingdom of God?
Tait is a huge visionary, and has ministry ideas coming out of his ears. He’s always coming to me with yet another idea. Tait’s ideas are endless, and his (and my) passion is to use the plans and resources God gives us to bring glory to Him and advance His kingdom.
I love it that Tait isn’t just a man with ideas, though. He’s also a man of incredible action. Along with his ideas come step-by-step plans for achieving a given goal. Last summer, we organized and hosted a history tour for 60 people with Bill Potter and Marshall Foster down in South Carolina. It chronicled God’s providences during the War for Independence in the southeast region.
Getting the hospital bill closed out will definitely free us up more to pursue some of these things.
On another note, we simply want to see the hospital paid. They provided invaluable, capable, kind care for our son around the clock for three months, and they are certainly more than worthy of their hire. We appreciate so much the love and support from the body of Christ in bearing our burdens with us, and working toward this goal.
Q: What is your family vision for the future?
Ultimately, we want to influence culture for Him! Tait (and I, as his helper), have both a very local vision and a wider vision. As a family, we want to be successful entrepreneurs, specifically in the family real estate business we’ve been blessed with, hospitable, active in local politics, encouraging toward the homeschool community, supportive of local needs, and helpful toward those who want to transition to a family-based free enterprise business model. Many of these activities start on the local level, but hopefully would provide encouragement on a broader level as well.
Our goal is for our sons to take the torch further than we can, and keep moving toward the goal of influencing the culture for Christ. Of course, first and foremost, our main goal is to train them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and mind, and to do whatever they do heartily, to the glory of God.
Show your support of the Zimmerman family by donating here.