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N4T Investigators – Insurance Denied – UPDATE

TUCSON – The News 4 Tucson Investigators have a follow-up on a Tucson mom who has been fighting the state to reinstate state insurance benefits for her medically-fragile son.

It’s been a long, hard, fought battle, but finally, Cheryl Allred got some great news.

“We won our appeal, which I’m in shock. I did not expect to win,” Allred told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.

Allred says she can finally see a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.

She has been caring for her eight-year-old son Ryan, mostly by herself, since last October.

That is when the state decided Ryan was no longer medically eligible for long-term care insurance.

Ryan was born at just 25-weeks – weighing just a pound and a half.

The spent the first six months of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit, and 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.

Allred believed Ryan’s long-term care should never have been revoked, so late last year, she shared her story with the News 4 Tucson Investigators.

“I’ve been approached by so many people who’ve seen these newscasts and it’s a real eye-opener. The way they went about doing stuff was not by their manual, it wasn’t right, you know and we proved it,” Allred said.

Without the insurance, Cheryl had to cut back on her hours at work in order to care for Ryan.

Allred tells the News 4 Tucson Investigators she was only able to make it, thanks to her lawyer.

She is also thankful for the emotional and financial support she and her son received from the community.

“I would not have my home anymore if it wasn’t for the help that we got,” Allred told the News 4 Tucson Investigators.

Now that Ryan’s long-term care insurance is re-instated Allred can try to rebuild her business and catch up on some much-needed sleep.

She also offers a little advice for anyone else fighting for something they believe in.

“Just don’t take no for an answer don’t back down,” Allred said.

If you have something you would like the News four Tucson Investigators to investigate, email us at or call the News four Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520) 955-4444.


Paul Birmingtham

Paul Birmingtham

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