The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

December 27, 2012

Christmas means end of care for W.Va. man

CHARLESTON — Collin Huff was born a Christmas baby 21 years ago, but also one with challenges: a genetic disorder has the Harrison County resident coping with various ailments, including severe blood pressure disease that impairs his breathing and increasingly requires him to rely on a ventilator.

And while Tuesday brought him DVDs, clothes and other welcome birthday-Christmas gift from loved ones — “He got quite a bit of stuff,” said his father, Michael Huff — turning 21 also means he no longer qualifies for in-home nursing care through the Medicaid program.

“We’re pretty much up against the wall,” said his mother, Lora Ashcraft. “We’re going to be very dependent on family and friends.”

Collin Huff divides his time between the separate residences of his mother and of his father and his wife. Medicaid has helped provide skilled nursing services such as at night, when he usually hooks up to his ventilator. His parents say they can’t afford that in-home care on their own. The remaining options include a nursing home, but Michael Huff said no nearby facility has a ventilator bed available. Collin Huff would have to go to a nursing home out-of-state.

But Huff’s family is trying to keep him home. His health is declining. He was diagnosed with chronic liver disease last week, each parent said. Both that organ and his spleen, which filters blood and is important for the body’s immune system, are swelling with fluid. He’s lost his mobility over the course of the year.

“He just sits around in his chair (or) the couch, and has us carry him around,” said his father. “He’s too weak to push the wheelchair by himself.”

Huff’s family has applied for a waiver from Medicaid rules so he can continue to receive in-home services. West Virginia’s waiver program actually reduces the cost of such care, according to lawmakers who have repeatedly sparred with state Health and Human Resources officials over the limited number of waiver slots.

“It could take up to two years, they say,” the elder Huff said. “He’s on the list right now, and I was told he was 332nd on the list.”

Administration officials did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday. Several legislators in Huff’s area attended a Sunday press conference in Bridgeport meant to bring light to his case. Another family seeking help continuing Medicaid services, for a 38-year-old with an irreversible muscular disorder who also relies on a ventilator, also took part in the press conference.

Collin Huff has mental as well as physical disabilities. His mother described some of his favorite gifts received Tuesday: a laughing Elmo doll, and stuffed versions of the children’s TV characters Peppa Pig and Pocoyo.

“This child has received more love in his life than most of us can hope to,” Ashcraft said. “He’s just so capable of bringing people together, and that’s what we’re hoping will happen now.”

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • Repairs set for I-77 tunnel

    Some lanes of an Interstate 77 tunnel along the Virginia-West Virginia border where a truck fire occurred are being rerouted for repairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Veterans crisis center coming to Clarksburg

    The long delays for veterans seeking medical care at VA hospitals have prompted The American Legion to plan a short-term crisis center in Clarksburg.

    July 29, 2014

  • Weekend tornado confirmed in West Virginia

    The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Pleasants and Ritchie counties over the weekend.

    July 29, 2014

  • Rahal: Fund VA reform ‘for our veterans’

     On the cusp of Congress’s lengthy summer break, factions sparring over legislation to strengthen health care and funding reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs may have reached a compromise.
    Although final details are still in the works, the top two negotiators, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., released a joint statement that said they had “made significant progress toward and agreement on legislation to make VA more accountable and to help the department recruit more doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals.”

    July 29, 2014

  • Attorney general reaches $950,000 settlement with three financial groups

    West Virginia’s attorney general has reached a $950,000 settlement with three companies over allegations of antitrust law violations.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman convicted in teen’s slaying moved

    A Monongalia County teenager has been transferred to a state prison to complete her sentence for the slaying of another teenager.
    The Lakin Correctional Center near Point Pleasant said Friday Rachel Shoaf has been booked at the Division of Corrections prison. Shoaf turned 18 last month and had been held in a juvenile facility.

    July 26, 2014

  • Board suspends clinic operator’s license

    A West Virginia board Friday suspended the license of the operator of a pain management clinic where investigators found syringes were being reused. It was the second disciplinary action involving the doctor’s license within a decade.

    July 26, 2014

  • Candidates: Leave global warming debate to scientists

    Two West Virginia congressional hopefuls said during their first candidate forum matchup Thursday that the global warming debate is better left to scientists.
    Democrat Nick Casey and Republican Alex Mooney added that other countries should step up in reducing carbon emissions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lawsuit filed over Dirty Girl Mud Run

    A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of a run that was canceled in Charleston in which participants were told they wouldn’t be issued refunds.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVa. man sues GM over wife's death

    A West Virginia man has filed a lawsuit against General Motors Corp., claiming a defective ignition switch in a Chevrolet Cobalt caused a 2006 accident that killed his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads