Escape From the Scooby Doo Mansion

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Friday, December 08, 2006

America's Wang Strikes Again: If You're Sick in Florida and Your Name isn't Terri Schiavo, You're Screwed


With apologies to all my Florida readers, I have to ask - what the hell is wrong with America's Wang? Apparently they've got all the money in world to keep Terri Schiavo in a persistent vegetative state, but they can't find $360 to help the very sick child pictured above. I'll let The Miami Herald do the rest of the talking:

Kevin Estinfil is a badly disabled kid. He has severe cerebral palsy, is blind, has a shunt in his brain to drain excess fluid and has daily seizures. And his body can't control its own temperature.

Kevin, who is 12, can get as cold as 93 or 94 degrees, and he can't communicate when he feels pain or discomfort.

What would help keep Kevin warm, his doctors say, are special thermal blankets, which cost $10 each. He needs about three a month, for a cost of about $360 a year.

But for more than a year, the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities has refused to pay for them. The blankets, they say, ``have not been determined to be medically necessary.''

To make its case, the state has racked up thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting Kevin, who lost an appeal before a state hearing officer and is now appealing to the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami-Dade.

'I keep thinking, `It's a blanket. It's not like he's asking for a car,' '' said Lizel Gonzalez, Kevin's lawyer at Legal Services of Greater Miami. ``Give the kid a blanket. His life is hard enough.''

Kevin's condition worsened a couple of years ago when he suffered a series of severe seizures, which led to even more brain damage. Kevin brightens when his mother and sisters -- whose voices he recognizes -- come for a visit.

''Kevin is a severely disabled child,'' said one of his doctors, Julio Casas, who works at Baby House. ''He has a severe seizure disorder, and just about anything can set him off.'' Including getting cold, Casas added.

What's driving this pirate nuts is that they could've given Kevin the damn blankets he needs for a fraction of the cost they've spent on lawyers! Arrrgghh!

Thanks to Stephanie Miller for the heads-up on this one.

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