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Don’t cut my terminally ill son’s care

This petition had 101,918 supporters


My son Austin has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a terminal disease that he bravely fights against each day. Our insurance provider, TennCare, has eliminated his 24/7 nursing care over a ventilator, forcing me to quit my job and to ensure my son get the care he needs. Being a single father, this means we are struggling to stay afloat. I shouldn’t have to choose between paying our bills and making sure Austin is cared for properly. Please join me in asking TennCare reinstate the 24/7 nursing care for Austin.

The trouble started after Austin received a new ventilator. Since the ventilator delivered oxygen using a non invasive method and Austin was now 21, TennCare determined he no longer required 24/7 nursing support. Nothing about the need for nurse had changed. Austin still needed the same care he had received before receiving the new ventilator and turning 21. With the nurses removed, Austin only had me. I immediately quit my job to care for him until a solution could be worked out.

Austin has already beat the odds, outliving what the doctors had predicted. This is in part because of the nursing support provided by TennCare. I have been in conversations with TennCare to get Austin’s 24/7 nursing care reinstated and I can return to work to pay our bills. All I’ve received is the run around, and in some cases insensitive statements from TennCare. At one point I’ve been told to put Austin in a home. An elected official told me to be thankful because in Russia they cut care at 13. These statements made our situation feel hopeless.

I decided I couldn’t give up hope, and that's why I started this petition. Austin should be focused on his care, not fighting to get it. The only way we can ensure organizations like TennCare don’t try to cut corners with benefits is by standing together. By signing this petition, you will be standing with people like Austin who deserves to get the care he needs and a parent who can pay the bills. Please sign and share the petition today. Thank you.



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James Elrod needs your help with “TennCare: Don’t cut my terminally ill son’s care”. Join James and 101,917 supporters today.