Dec 09, 2010 5:44 AM GMT
The Medicaid and Social Services departments of Indiana (run by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels) is going to allow an infant to die rather than pay for a lifesaving treatment.
HuffingtonPostSeth Petreikis is a six-month-old baby trying to dodge a death sentence.
He was born in Dyer, Indiana earlier this year with a rare and usually fatal condition called complete DiGeorge syndrome. A genetic malfunction on his 22nd chromosome kept him from developing a thymus, an organ that helps develop white blood cells, and led him to have serious heart defects.
As such, he's susceptible to overwhelming infections, and the heart surgery he'll need in February will be impossible without making him dangerously vulnerable to such infection. "It's like he's been sentenced to death," his mother, Becky Petreikis, told the Northwest Indiana Times.
Indeed, babies born with complete DiGeorge are unlikely to see their first birthday, and almost never survive past the age of two.
The one possibility of commuting that sentence: a radical transplant procedure pioneered by a specialist at Duke Hospital in Durham, NC.
But unless something changes, and soon, his family won't be able to pay for the procedure in time to save Seth's life. Despite his parents' pleas and appeals, Indiana Medicaid won't cover the operation, and neither will the state's Family Social Services Administration (FSSA).