By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -
A local woman fights to survive, and struggles to get the medical help she needs.
She is in this situation because she's caught in what some would call a numbers game.
Kris Garza is hospitalized at Mclaren Hospital in Flint. A genetic heart condition has caught up with her, and she needs a new heart. Along with her heart failing, her liver has also given out.
But her family claims her government-funded insurance is failing to help her, and instead is just letting her die.
"It shouldn't be about insurance or not. Everybody should be treated the same," said Brittani McDowell.
McDowell and her brother Mark McDowell say they're being forced to watch their mother travel down the slow path to her death. Kris Garza, 39, needs a miracle.
"We need something done," said James McNamara, who has dated Garza for many years.
It's a miracle, McNamara said, for which he's been praying for a long time. You see, Garza's genetic heart condition kicked in back in October. She was rushed to the hospital with congestive heart failure.
Surgeons installed a pacemaker and a defibrillator. She was released once she was strong enough. But she spent the next two months in and out of the hospital.
On Dec. 22, she was admitted into McLaren, and it was discovered both her liver and heart are failing. She's been there since, hooked up to a ventilator, with what the family says complete brain function, all while holding on to life.
James McNamara, the father of Garza's children, says insurance will not pay for her to be transported to other hospitals that say they will accept her. "We're at a point where it's basically a money situation, and that's what it boils down to, so you know, it's just a sad situation."
The insurance also told her they will not pay for the heart and liver transplant that could help save her life.
You can get in touch with McNamara by calling (810) 293-6854 or Mark, Garza's son, at (810) 280-5070.
WNEM will continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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