I have a friend who lost her battle with cancer recently. It's not something I've talked about on here, and still won't get into it really for the sake of privacy for her family. However, her spouse is facing some steep medical bills, in addition to their "regular" bills.
Of course, she did have life insurance, however, the amount they had purchased turned out not to be adequate enough to cover their needs once she passed. So often we all put off discussing issues that are sensitive like this when we are healthy because they make us uncomfortable. Yet, once we get to a point where we realize that we need more than what we have planned for, its often too late.
Regardless of your specific situation, if you are encountering collection harassment and need relief, I strongly encourage you to research your rights as a consumer, and to consult legal counsel should it come to that. Many creditors are so focused on getting their money that they do not stop to really listen and hear what someone's situation is, nor do they really care. Make sure you know your rights, and are not taken advantage of!