Kellie is 43 years old and lives in St. Louis. She has four children, including her 17-month old son. Kellie suffers from hemiplegic migraines, rare variant of chronic migraine that results in paralysis, vision and speech problems, and can possibly lead to a stroke. For 15 years, Kellie was uninsurable because of her preexisting conditions and was forced to go without treatment. Without treatment, Kellie had a stroke that resulted in peripheral neuropathy. She now has permanent nerve damage in her hands that prevents her from working. The pain from these migraines are so intense Kellie becomes blind, her right side is paralyzed, she can’t speak, and loses control of her body and sometimes her bladder. Her last migraine lasted five long days.
After fifteen years of being uninsured, Kellie was able to finally get health coverage and the treatment she needs through MO HealthNet. Medicaid allowed her to get a primary care physician, see a neurologist who specializes in her type of migraines, receive regular MRI scans, and have access to therapy and medications she has needed over the past 15 years. Her doctors have told her that the next stroke may kill her. “If Medicaid gets cut, all of this care gets taken away. Without access to my doctor and medication, I would surely have another stroke and my doctors don’t think I can have many more and survive. I wouldn’t be here without Medicaid. I know I wouldn’t.”