Ailing Saucier Woman Loses Medicaid Coverage - - The News for South Mississippi


Ailing Saucier Woman Loses Medicaid Coverage

Toni Sherwood can't pick up her two year old daughter without sharp pains shooting through Mom's body. Sherwood is in so much pain, she can't get out of bed. "I'm always home. I don't ever do anything," she said. And that's starting to take its toll on her family. "Like my son says, 'Mom, you used to be able to ride my dirt bike with me, you used to do all this stuff with me. And now you can't do anything.'"

These days, Sherwood's head always hurts. Pain shoots through her neck. And her hands and feet are often throbbing. Her friend Kristy Langlinais spends much of her time by Sherwood's side. "If she's really bad and can't feel her legs, I've literally had to pick her up and put her in the bathtub," Langlinais said.

After a car wreck two years ago, Sherwood learned she had Arnold Chiari Malformation -- a disease that causes the brain to push into her spine.

Prescription drugs became a priority. The 32 year old must take more than $1,000 worth of medicines just to dull the non-stop pain. "I really cannot do anything without my medicine," she said.

Two days ago, Sherwood went to get her prescriptions refilled. That's when the former hospital worker learned Medicaid had dropped her. "I was hysterical," she remembered. "I said look, I'll be in the hospital if I don't have my medicines. I have to have this stuff. I'll be in the hospital." Sherwood was told she lost her Medicaid benefits because she missed a recertification appointment, and at $16,700, her husband made too much money.

A woman who once had a good job, and medical insurance, couldn't understand why the state put her in this predicament. "I'm not asking them to pay my house note. I'm not asking them to pay anything. I just need help with my medical," she said.

So what does the state divison of Medicaid have to say about the Toni Sherwood case? Nothing. A spokesman in Jackson said HIPPA regulations prevented him from discussing a client's situation. He did forward our e-mail requst to the appropriate experts in his office, but at last check, we didn't get a response.

Toni Sherwood's medical bills are about to skyrocket. Next month, she goes to New York for a surgery that should help her deal with the Arnold Chiari disease. Friends are holding a variety of fund raisers to offset the cost of that surgery. Contact Kristy Langlinais at 228-354-8070 to see how you can donate to the Sherwood surgery.

by Brad Kessie

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