Paperwork mistake cuts off Medicaid to girl nearly shaken to death as a baby

Disabled toddler loses medical care

TAMPA - To fully understand Haleigh Hatcher's medical needs you'd need to know what happened to her at the age of seven weeks.

Haleigh's biological father shook the infant nearly to death. She suffered a stroke and was in a coma that doctors were not sure she would pull out of.

In the last two years, Haleigh has made great strides thanks to doctors and therapists who have worked with her week in and week out.  A team Laura McClellan says her daughter was cut off from.

DCF notified Laura that Haleigh's Medicaid would be cut off on May 31.  Paper work indicates Laura made too much money and there appeared to be a question of whether Haleigh was medically needy.

McClellan was devastated.  No way could this single mom afford Haleigh's medical costs. Months of phone calls and letter writing got her nowhere.

That's when I contacted DCF, the agency that oversees the distribution of Medicaid. 

In an email, a regional manager explained:  "From what we can tell, when Ms. McClellan applied for Medicaid, she did not list Haleigh as being disabled, so the determination was done without that being factored in."

The agency reevaluated Haleigh's eligibility.  Weeks later, DCF confirmed in another email."... Haleigh's disability determination has been completed, and she is now eligible for Medicaid on that basis."

Meaning Haleigh can return to the business of learning to walk and talk on her own with the help of her long time therapists.

"I am so thankful for that," said McClellan.

Friends have set up a fund to help the family with medical expenses.  Any Wells Fargo branch will accept donations for the "Baby Haleigh Donation Fund."

Print this article Back to Top