Sandy is 64 years old and lives in St. Louis County. Her son D.O. is 31 years old and was born with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He cannot speak or walk, has severe asthma, and is prone to seizures. As a disabled person, D.O. qualifies for Medicaid which covers all of his health needs. As he gets older, his medical issues become more serious. Over the past 8 months, D.O. has been hospitalized three times. During a seizure, he broke one of his legs. Due to his asthma, he was hospitalized for pneumonia. His hands became so contracted they affected his circulation and he required corrective surgery.
Without Medicaid, D.O. would not have received care for any of these procedures. Most importantly, Medicaid gives him social interaction with others through a local adult day program. D.O. has a feeding tube and requires consistent care throughout the day. Both Sandy and her husband work full time. Without the adult day program, one of them would have to stay home with him and he would lose the social interactions with his peers that bring him joy. He loves going to the zoo, restaurants and the mall with his friends in the program. Despite all of his health difficulties, D.O. is social, outgoing, and happy thanks to his ability to participate in the adult day program. Sandy draws strength from his optimism. “He wakes up with a smile on his face. If I’m having a bad day, I think that if he can be happy, so can I.” Medicaid has given D.O. the care he needs to be happy and healthy and Sandy is forever grateful. “Without Medicaid, I don’t know what we would do.”