Monument Toddler In Desperate Need Of Transplant

By: McKenzie Martin Email
By: McKenzie Martin Email

Officials with Colorado medicaid say they have been working around the clock trying to figure out a way to get coverage for a Monument toddler who desperately needs a transplant.

We told you about Emerson White on Monday, she needs a new intestine but she has already maxed out her insurance and a temporary medicaid plan she was on in the state of Colorado has expired.

Joanne Lindsay, spokesperson with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing
says they are still in the process of figuring out if and how they can cover the new transplant costs. It's complicated because Emerson is out of state and she was originally covered by private insurance.

Emerson’s mom, Erika just keeps praying for her daughter just like she has since the day she was born.

"I have spent days and nights by her bedside, willing her to breath for another minute, breath for another hour, breath for one more day and we'll get through this," Erika said.

Emerson was born with an undiagnosed metabolic disorder.

"She's not been able to eat or drink by mouth since she was born," Erika said.

Emerson underwent a rare multi-organ transplant at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, the only place where the transplant could be done. A few weeks ago her body rejected the small intestine.

"If the second transplant is not approved, then she will not live," said Jim White, Emerson’s father.

And right now Emerson is not on the transplant list. For any patient to get on that list, funding has to be in place first for the expensive surgery. Hers is not.

"No parent who sits and watches their child fight this hard should have to hear that somebody had decided they're not going to pay for it," said Erika.

Her private insurance maxed out at 2-million dollars. She had a waiver for coverage from Colorado medicaid, but it was always just temporary and for at-home care, not out-of-state surgery.

"She's not been home for a very long time, we've extended it as far as we can, not another waiver she could go onto at this point," said Joanne Lindsay.

She says they are trying to come up with a solution.

"We've been talking with the case workers at the Nebraska hospital and we've also been working with the federal government to see what were even legally able to do. There are regulations we have to follow," Lindsay said.

So for now Emerson’s parents can only hope and wait.

Lindsay says they hope to have an answer for the Whites by the end of the week. If Colorado denies coverage she says there is a chance Emerson could be picked up by Nebraska medicaid.

In the meantime her parents are collecting donations.

Go to Emerson’s website to find out how you can help. The link is below.

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