MANAGING MEDICAL BILLS WITH TURO

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A little help from hosting

Twenty-something years ago, Sean S. forwent classic first words like “mom” or “dada” and gleely cooed “car,” to his parents instead. Decades later, his car continues to play an important central role in his life beyond just transportation. For the last seven months, Sean has shared his 2014 Ford Fusion Energi on Turo in order to help pay medical bills for his wife and son.

Nearly one year ago, Sean’s wife Megan gave birth to their second son, William, a beautiful, healthy baby boy. But it didn’t take too long to realize something wasn’t right.

“I thought I had the flu, and I ended up being extremely sick. I was in sepsis by the time I went to the emergency room,” Megan says of her infection scare last December. At the same time, William was only days-old and in and out of the NICU, adding more emotional and financial stress to her hospitalization. The multi-day ordeal involved hospital transfers and multiple doctors, but eventually Megan was cleared to begin her recovery at home.

“It was a rough Christmas,” says Sean, “and we were looking at, how are we going to pay for all this?”

The couple, who have been together since high school, were already planning to move from San Diego to Nashville for a better cost of living, and now, medical bills on top of car payments were becoming overwhelming.

Putting their car to work

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Sean’s 2014 Ford Fusion Energi (Nashville, TN)

Megan and Sean bought their Ford Fusion shortly after their wedding as a fuel-efficient alternative to their family car. But with the Fusion depreciating and medical expenses compounding the financial burden of car payments, they needed a way to offset the costs. Sean, who was already comfortable with the sharing economy, had the idea to try out Turo.

Sean listed their car in Nashville while they were still packing things up in San Diego, so by the time they made the move, the Fusion already had bookings lined up. After an “awesome experience” with their first guest, they’ve only picked up momentum.

Thirty two trips later (all five-star!), sharing the Fusion has been so successful that they’re thinking of buying a second car just to list on Turo. In the meantime, Sean has his own goals as a Turo guest — renting a Tesla Model S for a joyride.

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The healthy and happy family

Sean grew up with a passion for cars inspired by his grandfather, who drove unique vehicles like a Peugeot and 1981 Triumph around Southern California. Now a seasoned host, Sean is looking forward to being on the other side of the Turo equation to test out interesting sports cars like he grew up around. Luckily, he’s already found a Model S just a few miles away that’s got his name on it.

And his older son Jenson is already following in his dad’s tire tracks, so to speak. “‘Car’ was one of [his] first words, too,” Sean says. As for Megan and William, the two have happily put their health problems and worries behind them.

This story was originally published on the Turo blog.