One Family's Fight Against AvMed
In her 13 years, Mariah Hamilton has had 14 surgeries to correct numerous birth defects. Now, she and her family have found what they say is a solution, but their medical insurance company has another procedure they want her to have instead.
By all accounts, Mariah Hamilton is your typical 13-year-old, but she has a series of defects she's forced to live with that are hard even for her to pronounce. But, it is her congential scoliosis that causes her the most physical pain, and prevents this otherwise active adolescent from moving and growing.
"This is a 13-year-old that has to listen to her body everyday of her life," said Shana Hamilton, mother.
Last February, Mariah underwent her fourteenth operation to loosen her spinal cord. Before surgery, the curve in her spine was 26 degrees. Hamilton says the normal body has no curve.
"The curve after surgery is 74 degrees," said Hamilton.
By December, her condition worsened, a typical result from surgery...a risk they knew.
The family says they have found an alternative --less risky and non-invasive cranio-sacral therapy, which is often used by chiropractic specialists.
But, dad who's an employee of the state correctional facility in Cross City is covered by AvMed, and they say the therapy is "experimental" and they're still investigating so they won't pay. What they're recommending is a spinal fusion operation during which they'll insert metal rods, and the price for the surgery is $250,000.
Time is running out for Mariah who fights to stay pain free, and find a solution for a condition that has no cure. The debt piles up as the Hamilton's have already shelled out more than $11,000.
On Tuesday, the Hamilton family learned that on July 31st AvMed agreed to a hearing, where the Hamiltons can plead their case.
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