"I was diagnosed with cancer on the Monday and a few days later I received a $35,000 medical bill which had to be paid within a week."
Mittagong man Scott Morton shares his story of medical and financial survival.
"I saved my home and family simply because of a box I ticked on an insurance policy that I didn't even know I had ticked, " Mr Morton said.
The well-known Highlander and Rams Southern Highlands principal said he now wants to share his story of survival with others.
His message comes shortly after receiving the "all-clear" from his doctor after battling tonsil cancer since February 2019.
Scott will have ongoing screens every six months to ensure he continues on the medical path to recovery.
In the meantime he has returned to work and his family has resumed life as they knew it before a cancer diagnosis turned their world upside down.
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As far as Scott is concerned the road to recovery could have been very different had it not been for one decision prompted by his financial advisor, George Root from Wilson's Financial in Bowral.
"When I took out my life insurance George suggested I also include trauma insurance," he said.
It is that advice that has ensured Scott and his family - wife Amie, twin sons James and Ryan, 18, and 15-year-old daughter Sarah - could survive financially.
"If I had taken out life insurance alone it would have only been paid to my family if I died," he said.
"But that would have been no good to my family trying to meet the medical bills for my treatment and general cost of living while I was alive and fighting cancer."
Scott has spent much of 2019 in hospital and has racked up more than $120,000 in medical bills both to remove the cancer from his throat, as well as six weeks of chemotherapy and 35 days of radiation. All the while he has been unable to work.
Meanwhile the day-to-day costs of living didn't go away for his family.
He said that his family could have lost everything if it was not for "very good advice" from his insurance broker.
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"Within days of being diagnosed with cancer I received a payout for my trauma insurance which amounted to 25 per cent of my total life insurance," he said.
"This money has meant that I have been able to focus entirely on my recovery with the support of my family, without the stress of how we will survive or how we can cover the medical costs.
"I don't have anything to gain by saying this. Insurance is not my business, but I am eternally grateful for the advice I was given by my insurance broker."
Scott said that he hoped that by sharing his experience he could help others who might not know about trauma insurance or understand its benefits.