If you are willing and able, please share this around. Please help me get the message out to those who can help Wash.
6 Feb 2012
To Whom it May Concern,
I am writing to you about two of your constituents in Arizona; S Tashi Pratt-King and Kevin "Wash" Pratt-King. The live in Tempe, Arizona and they need your help- today.
Kevin and Tashi married in the spring of 2009- and within weeks Kevin was sick from an un-diagnosed brain tumor. Tashi had applied for AHCCCS medical coverage throughout the summer and fall of 2009, denied every time. On Tashi's 23rd birthday Kevin had a grand-mal seizure and his tumor was finally discovered at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, AZ.
His tumor was 9cm- almost as large as a newborn's head. It took two surgeries to remove the tumor and shortly after the couple found out it was malignant and terminal. Kevin was just 25 years old.
After the surgeries they were both approved for AHCCCS coverage, but that would be the start of the insurance issues.
For the past two plus years Tashi has been working full-time as Kevin's non-compensated caregiver. He is not able to be independent anymore and from the start needed full-time care. AHCCCS does not cover the costs of full-time care, so Tashi has been working literally a 24 hour, 7 day a week job caring for him. She does not bring in any income. Kevin receives a small monthly stipend from Disability, it does not begin to cover his real medical costs.
The "Life expectancy" for Kevin's cancer (Glioblastoma Multiforme) is 9-12 months-with treatment. He's at month 27 now.
Brain cancer has several predictable side effects; seizures are common, depression, memory loss, aphasia, blindness, weakness, and severe fatigue. Kevin has all of them. As hard as he has been fighting to live the last two years, he is degrading. The level of care he needs is more than one person can take on around the clock.
In January of 2012 Kevin applied for Hospice Care. This was to go hand-in-hand with his coverage by ALTCS; the Arizona Long Term Care Services, through AHCCCS. Kevin's ALTCS approval letter came in Dec of 2011. This would allow for Respite Care to be provided to Tashi, who has spent the last two years doing nothing but caring for her dying husband. ALTCS covers the long-term-care that his primary insurance, AHCCCS does not.
In January of 2012 Kevin and Tashi were notified through Hospice (never a direct contact from AHCCCS to the couple) that Kevin in fact was NOT covered for ALTCS care, and even with his continued mental and physical degradation, Tashi would still be left to bear all the care.
Kevin's Social Worker (through Hospice) spent more than 2 straight weeks in January trying to get in contact with William "Bob" Jaegers - the caseworker assigned to Kevin's ALTCS case. Bob did not respond until today, Feb 6th.
Two weeks to contact a Social Worker for Hospice (End of Life) is not acceptable for ANY level of healthcare work- unless ALTCS hoped by delaying Kevin's case, he would die before any monies would have to be spent on his care.
Bob confirmed to Tashi that it would be 45 days from "start of application" to have ALTCS approval. When Tashi responded she had proof of Kevin's acceptance as of Dec 2011, Bob flatly denied such 'evidence' could exist and their records showed Kevin applying in Jan 2012.
Please help take immediate action on behalf of Kevin and Tashi. They have evidence (see attached) showing approval of Kevin into the ALTCS program as of Dec 9th, 2011.
Kevin is dying. He is only 27, but with a very virulent brain cancer. Tashi is 25 now. She has not had a "day off" or "weekend" in more than 2 years.
I write to ask you to investigate this matter; or shall we be left with the assumption that in Arizona if you are young, poor, or terminally ill that the State will leave you to die without medical coverage?
S Tashi Pratt-King
(The last paragraph of the letter? "Approved for ALTCS")
If anyone has media contacts, please share.