BRANDON, Fla. - In a small meeting room in Brandon where budgets, shortfalls, and taxes are discussed, a group had an unusual meeting about a young woman's health, her life, and the future of her family.
"I think she's happy to see that people are trying," said Gene Odom.
The attorney represents a mom whose daughter spends her days in a wheelchair. The 18-year old’s innocence and independence were stolen from her as she dropped off a book at the Bloomingdale library in 2008. She suffered life-altering injuries at the hands of an attacker that night who beat and raped her.
"This is a really big step for everybody to get together around one table, you know, with the family," said Audie Canney, Senior Aide for State Senator Ronda Storms.
ABC Action News has closely tracked her story and struggles. This month there is another chapter to write her at-home healthcare was set to be cut-off. It’s the same month she turns 21-years old.
"The end goal is to keep her at home with her family where she belongs and her family wants her there and that's what she wants," Canney told ABC Action News.
Everyone in the room including local, state, and federal representatives want the same thing. Lawmakers like Kathy Castor and Ronda Storms are behind them.
Friday they have made headway. The Department of Children and Families, the agency paying for at-home care, agreed to a reprieve for up to 90-days. Medicaid will supplement the money.
But it's an extension, not a solution.
"There are rules that we call red tape bureaucracy and with very rare exception, those kind of limit and define what we have access to in situation like this," said Odom.
Yes, she may be that rare exception.
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