Family, TV Station Overwhelmed By Response To Lauren Rainey
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 23, 2004
MOBILE, ALABAMA--WPMI-TV reported Thursday that the story of Lauren Rainey, a 13-year-old at risk of losing her in-home nursing care, has drawn the attention of people from around the world.
Inclusion Daily Express introduced readers to WPMI's story about Lauren on November 16.
The girl, who is deaf, and has asthma, an enlarged heart, scoliosis, and other medical conditions, also has a very small airway, requiring her to use an oxygen machine and humidifying mist machine. Her airway has to be suctioned several times an hour to keep her from suffocating.
The state's Medicaid Medical Director recently decided, based on medical records, that the girl does not need her current 10 hours of daily in-home nursing care because her condition is stable. Individuals in Alabama are only eligible for that level of in-home care if their condition deteriorates.
Lauren's doctors say she will likely die if her condition is allowed to deteriorate.
According to WPMI, their story has been read on the Internet and via email by thousands of people from around the world. The station has received phone calls and emails from across the county and the globe.
"I thought it would be just local and no one else would see it and I'm just so touched by the amount of people that care," said Lauren's mother, Laura Rainey-Gordon.
Lauren's family is appealing the state's decision. A date has not yet been set for the fair hearing.
"People worldwide respond to Medicaid's decision to cut services for 13 year old girl" (WPMI)
"Medicaid threatens to terminate girl's nursing care" (WPMI -- November 10, 2004)