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Medicaid Matters to Kids Mondays: Sophia is defying the odds!

“Through years of hard work, determination, and the support of doctors, therapists, friends, and family, Sophia continues to gratify and amaze us with all that she can do,” says mom, Alicia.  

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy, right hemiplegia, and global developmental delay, all before the age of one, it was unknown if she would ever walk, talk or meet other developmental and cognitive milestones. 

A team of specialists ranging from neurology to hematology, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, gastroenterologists, ophthalmologists, audiologists, and physiatrists from both Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Minneapolis, Minn. ensured the very best care for Sophia.

rsz_sophia_karwal.jpgToday Sophia is able to eat and walk independently, and while she is still working on some speech articulation issues, she talks. . . a lot!  She continues to defy the odds. Her fine and gross motor coordination have improved and with the support of special educators, she is looking forward to the start of kindergarten this fall. 

But it has not been easy. Sophia’s mother, Alicia, is a former special education teacher and serves on the Family Advisory Council at Blank Children’s Hospital. Because of her experience and training, she recognized early on that Sophia’s potential would not have been realized without early intervention and regular access to intense pediatric therapies and ongoing specialty care via Medicaid.

“We aggressively fought for and obtained access to many services, including pediatric habilitation that are often overlooked, limited or delayed in comprehensive commercial insurance plans,” says Alicia. “Because of this, Sophia has far exceeded her early prognoses and quality of life.”

“The comprehensive coverage and continuity of care provided by Medicaid has been our saving grace,” Alicia continues. “While our family has a robust insurance plan through my husband’s employment, private insurance rarely covers all the care needed for children with chronic and complex health care and treatment needs. Thankfully, Sophia has wrap-around coverage through Medicaid, with eligibility deriving from the complexity of her condition. Without Medicaid, Sophia would not receive the continuity of care that she needs and deserves.”


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