Sorry to disagree. You can't just hang up on these people and hope they'll go away. Same with court papers.
First, with the collection idiots, pick up the phone and tell them to "cease and desist" harrassing you for payment. Period. End of story. "Cease and desist" are the magic legal words that every collection agency - by law - must obey, and in addition to saying them over the phone, you MUST put them in writing to each agency doing the harrassing. They've heard every story ever told, and bemoaning health issues won't make a dam bit of difference. It's their job to collect money, and they'll do anything to scare you into paying. Why should they believe you when the bulk of their accounts are from people who never intended to pay in the first place? I don't mean to be harsh; it's just the fact of the matter. And what you need to do now is deal with the facts.
If you can't get free legal advice, you still cannot ignore a court summons. There should be a notification requirement in your papers, i.e, a deadline to respond, and whether it can be made in writing or done in person. You MUST respond whether you have a lawyer or not. If you don't respond, it will result in a default judgment against you. At the very least, type out a written response and stick to the facts. Respond only to what is charged in the papers you received. Dig out any paperwork you still have from years ago to back up your response. If you have ignored communications from the creditor for years, you honestly may not have a leg to stand on. Sick or not, the debt exists, and that's all the court is concerned with.
This very situation is why I preach so loudly about not ignoring debt - medical or otherwise. As soon as you have a problem paying, you HAVE to contact the creditor and work out something. And yes, even big bad old Master Card has helped me sort out a workable solution in the past. Playing the ostrich will only make things worse. Forget using Ma Bell in these situations. You have to put it all in writing and keep copies to cover your rear end.
Rehab, have you contacted any law schools, even paralegal schools, in your area to check on low or no-cost legal assistance? Maybe even one of those "credit help" hotlines could direct you to someone who might help you navigate your way through the courts?
Living in the Republic of Texas minus a gallbladder, a couple of cervical discs, appendix, uterus, and 18" of colon; but living with my wonderful husband, 2 dogs, 1 cockatiel, and 2 gold fish.