Monday, January 24, 2011
Help Me Howard: No Insurance
It's not easy to live without medical insurance, especially after a horrible accident that leaves you without part of your skull and your brain exposed, and without insurance you can't get the surgery. That is what one girl is facing, which is why she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser to see how she can get the life saving surgery.
WSVN -- On October 30th Talia Muniz was in a horrible car accident.
Talia Muniz: "As soon as I died they brought me back. As soon as they opened up my head they brought me back."
The car accident in Hialeah left her with a large piece of her skull missing and she was the lucky one.
Talia Muniz: "Me and her always were together. Always did everything together."
Talia's sister Gloria was driving their car that night and did not survive the crash.
Talia Muniz: "I really didn't believe them until you know, I got there and I saw her in the coffin."
Gloria died. Talia who wanted to model was left with a lopsided skull.
Talia Muniz: "They removed part of my skull, because when they closed my head I had too much pressure in it."
The doctors at Jackson told her in three months they would put a titanium plate in her head to protect her brain, and so she went back to the hospital.
Talia Muniz: "When I went to get it done, they had admitted me into the hospital, the social worker of the hospital had come to me and told me I didn't have insurance, so there was nothing I could do."
Talia was told since she was didn't have the money and lived in Broward, that Broward General did the surgery for indigent residents.
Talia Muniz: "So, I called the Broward Hospital when I got out of the hospital and they told me they couldn't do nothing either since I don't have Insurance."
Now a piece of Talia's skull is missing, a piece of skin covers her brain .
Talia Muniz: "I don't sleep with a pillow because anything that touches it is too much weight for my head. I can't put on a hat, you know, nothing."
Not being able to sleep, well is a minor inconvenience compared to what could happen if she bumped her head.
Talia Muniz: "I need my head fixed because if anything hits I could just pass out, you know."
She has tried everything she can think of to try to get the surgery that she thinks can save her life. She's failed. Howard is she doomed?
Howard Finkelstein" The hospital in the county where the accident happens has to stabilize and protect the health of the patient. However, the same law says, any follow-up procedures are the responsibility of the county that the patient lives in, but in extreme cases like Talia's it would be better for the hospital that saved her life to put her life back together and worry about who pays later."
We thought this would be hard, but we only had to make one phone call to Jackson Memorial Hospital. After we explained the situation they agreed to do the surgery for Talia, saying it was a miscommunication that caused her to be turned away in the first place.
Talia Muniz: "I'm really excited. I can't wait."
Talia had her operation Monday morning, it's a tough surgery, but Talia could not wait for it.
Talia Muniz: "That's why I am happy. I came to you and you guys helped me. Now I'll be able to work. I'll be able to do everything like a normal person."
Talia had the titanium plate put into her head Monday evening. Glad we were able to help her, glad that it's working out for her. If you have a medical problem and don't have insurance, most counties have hospitals that care for indigent patients. In Dade it's Jackson, in Broward it's Broward Health or Memorial Health Care. Check in your county for your hospital.
Suffering from a situation that has sickened you? Ready to cut through the mess for a solution? Contact us. I don't know if we can cure what ails you, but odds are we can refer you to someone who can.