Back in May of 2012, Barb Sensney awoke to a very swollen abdomen, severe stomach cramping and difficulty breathing. A trip to the emergency room followed by further testing at Indiana University’s Medical Center would conclude that Barb is suffering from cirrhosis of the liver (non-alcohol related) and had developed end of stage liver disease.
Originally, doctors believed a liver transplant would cure her ailment. However, additional tests revealed that due to an inoperable blockage in her portal vein, the vein that goes from the liver to the spleen to the intestines, a successful liver transplant would be hindered and instead a multivisceral transplant would be necessary. A procedure that would last upwards of 16 hours and require a team of surgeons to remove Barb’s liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines and replace with new ones.
The pricetag for the procedure? Very costly!
Presently, Barb is enrolled in Medicare Part A & B, as well as Medicaid through the state of Illinois (she is a resident of Olney). Although Medicare in Illinois will cover a liver transplant, it will not cover a multivisceral transplant, despite the same procedure being covered in children.
More than 32 states currently cover the procedure under Medicaid. Illinois is not one of them. Every state that has been asked to cover this procedure has said yes. If Illinois declines covering multivisceral transplants for Barb, along with Brandy Whitfield, a 31 year old single mom living in the Chicagoland area awaiting the same procedure, Illinois will be the FIRST state to say no.
End of stage liver disease is terminal. Without a multivisceral transplant Barb will die.
Please sign our petition in support for the state of Illinois to change their current Medicare/Medicaid policy and cover multivisceral transplants for adults!