Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Help Me Howard: Re-cap
One little girl was the reason for a lawsuit. One little boy needed a special formula that was very expensive, and a 93-year-old woman had a request that she said would make her wonderful life complete. What happened to them? Let's bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for the answers.
WSVN -- Remember Jennifer? The adorable 8-year-old who bumped into a neighbors car that was blocking the sidewalk? Then did what you would hope every person would do?
Jennifer Lilly: "I went and I told the neighbors."
It was $200 in damage. Jennifer's father, Alan offered to pay half since the neighbor had left her car on the sidewalk. Britanny Glaid said no and sued.
Britanny Glaid: "I don't know why he is being so difficult about it, being that she was unsupervised."
Alan Lilly: "She's taking action against my daughter, and it's unfortunate that you're going to sue an 8-year-old."
In our story Howard said, legally you could sue an 8-year-old but a judge probably would not rule against her.
The story got national attention with Brittany criticized for suing, but she didn't back down.
"To mediation to see if you can resolve your case with out a trial."
The two sides went to mediation, where Britanny agreed to accept what Alan had offered in the beginning, $100; half the cost to fix the scratches.
Alan Lilly: "I wanted to be a good neighbor and do the right thing. Just like my daughter did and even though by law this case was definitely in favor of winning."
Jennifers story was not life and death. Then there was Matthew.
Mercy Arce: "At 4 months, after feeding him some cereal, about three hours or so after, he started vomiting. It didn't even sound like my baby."
Turns out Matthew is terribly allergic to most foods and can only survive by drinking a special formula called Elecare.
Mercy Arce: "They told us that it was not covered under our insurance, and for a month's supply, it would be $1,600."
Legally, the state of Florida allows insurance companies to refuse to pay for the life saving Elecare. Then our story aired and the boxes of Elecare poured in.
Mercy Arce: "It's amazing. It's amazing. It's peace of mind for the next couple of months knowing that he is going to have what he needs."
One woman who donated boxes of Elecare told me her child had died from his medical problems and she wanted Matthew to have the formula her son never got to use. The Elecare will give Mercy time to keep trying to find foods for Matthew.
Mercy Arce: "So far we have strawberries and milk. Which it's something. You know, it's baby steps and we are hoping by his third or fourth birthday we can have a birthday cake and he can eat it."
With a mother like Mercy, Matthew will be fine.
And speaking of fine, Antonio Alvarez is not. He had hired Beatriz and Cha's salsa band to play at his party.
Beatriz Arana: "Oh, he was having a great time."
Alvarez wrote them a $2,100 check, it bounced. He refused to make it good. When I went looking for him, he had disappeared.
After our story aired, Miami Police tracked down and arrested Alvarez.
They accused him of renting out apartments he didn't own and writing other checks on closed accounts. Detectives said, if you have been a victim of Alvarez, give Miami-Dade Crimestoppers a call.
In follow-ups, we talk about the success stories. But we are honest, and sometimes we fail.
Teresa Dougherty: "I never felt that way about the other presidents. They seemed stuck up, but he seemed so down to earth. That's why I want to meet him."
Ninety-three year old Teresa Doughtery is a big Barack Obama fan and asked us to get her a ticket to the presidential debates at Lynn University.
Teresa Dougherty: "It would be a dream come true. I would shake hands with him and if I could kiss him, I would kiss him."
I tried to get her tickets, talking to every local democratic leader we thought could help. Tried Lynn University, reached out all the way to Washington, but everybody turned us down. We were disappointed, but Teresa took it in stride.
Teresa Dougherty: "But if I can't go, I just have to take it. That's all."
Teresa had told me it would make her life complete if she got to go to the debates. She didn't, but she did make us a promise if he won re-election.
Teresa Dougherty: "You want Barack Obama for four more years. You promising to stay around for four more years. If he's around, If he's around i'll be around. Yeah."
That's one of the great things about doing Help Me Howard, getting to meet people like Teresa. I just wish we could have gotten her into the presidential debate. What's that old line? Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser 7news.
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