Wiggins Toddler Victim Of Medicaid Dispute - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/09/05

Wiggins Toddler Victim Of Medicaid Dispute

Like most toddlers, Fifteen month old Ryland Lee is into everything. But unlike others his age, Ryland tires easily. His parents Thomas and Brandie have to keep a close eye on him, to make sure he doesn't wear himself out.

"He can run around and play and he turns blue sometimes," says Rylands mother Brandie. "We have to make him slow down. He goes to sleep more and more now that he's bigger because it's hard for his heart to pump. Only one side of his heart is working."

Ryland needs a series of surgeries to repair his abnormal heart. He was supposed to be in a Cleveland Ohio, hospital right now. But that operation is on hold until lawmakers find a way to fund Medicaid past this week.

"The surgeons nurse called and said they're not allowed to take Mississippi patients because of the due to Medicaid," says Brandie.

Like any father Thomas is angry over what he says is politicians playing games that are putting his sons life and others like him in jeopardy. He has a message for all of them.

"Stop playing political games and stop blaming it on somebody else and get their act together, warns Thomas. "If not your killing kids point blank."

For now, Ryland's surgery is rescheduled for April the 12th. An appointment his parents say has to be kept.

"I asked his Cardiologist if he knew he was able to make it and he said he cant be one hundred percent sure on any of his heart patients how long they'll make it, says Brandie. "So he's not sure if Ryland will make it that long or he will not."

Meanwhile they want to make sure every lawmaker knows the pain this political log jam is causing with every passing day.

"We gotta figure our what we're going to do now," says Brandie.

by Don Culpepper.

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