TUCSON – The News 4 Tucson Investigators have a follow-up on a Tucson mom who is fighting to keep state insurance benefits for her son.
It’s coverage he depends on to help keep him alive.
“If it wasn’t for our community, our house would be in foreclosure right now. It’s been horrible,” Cheryl Allred told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
For Allred, and her son, Ryan, the past few months have been rough.
Back in October, the state cancelled Ryan’s long-term care insurance, saying he was no longer medically eligible.
Ryan was born at just 25-weeks – weighing just a pound and half, and spent the first six months of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit.
He now has a trach tube which requires constant attention.
“If I’m not with him, he needs to have a skilled nurse with him, because if that trach falls out, it can be deadly if somebody does not know how to get it back in properly, or can’t get it back in,” Allred told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Things went from bad to worse over the holidays, when Cheryl lost the specialized medical equipment that helps keep Ryan alive.
“When they figured out that the insurance was not paying the bill anymore, they demanded that I give it up,” Allred told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
The situation has made life difficult for both Ryan, and his mom.
Allred is the sole provider, but she hasn’t been able to work many hours because the insurance that was taken from her paid for Ryan’s skilled nursing, meaning she has to care for Ryan day and night.
“As far as my work has gone, I’ve missed a ton of work, and I’m running at not even half-capacity right now,” Allred told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
Cheryl and Ryan will have a hearing in Phoenix this week, as they work to convince the state to re-instate Ryan’s long-term care coverage.
Despite the frustration, they remain hopeful that the end of their ordeal could be in sight.
“I think the biggest thing for people to take from this case is to keep fighting.” Allred told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.
A GoFundMe account has been set-up for Ryan and his mom, to help cover the cost medical expenses.
If you have something you would like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to investigate, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the News 4 Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520) 955-4444.