February 4, 2005

HOW MUCH GREENER OUR VALLEYS (via Robert Schwartz):

Girl, 13, needs medication she can’t receive in Wales, but parents need new visas (Matthew Marx, February 03, 2005, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH)

A Welsh husband and wife are fighting deportation so their 13-year-old daughter can stay in Columbus and continue treatment for three severe sleep disorders.

Rachel Williams believes she will die if she leaves the United States and returns to her native Wales, but her family’s work visa has run out.

"I wouldn’t get the help I get here," said the eighth-grader at St. Mary Magdalene School, who has severe obstructive sleep apnea, severe seizure disorder and severe narcolepsy.

Sitting on a couch in her Hilltop living room recently, she described how her condition could stop her breathing or force violent, 20-second seizures hundreds of times a night if not treated properly. She explained the situation in a soft voice that stayed as matter-of-fact calm as when she discussed her favorite band (Green Day) and TV show (Comedy Central’s Crank Yankers).

Her parents, Debbie and Andrew Williams, brought her to the United States for 16 days in 2002. To pay for the trip, they raised about $20,000 from concerts and bar shows that attracted help from musician Phil Collins and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

After Rachel endured years of sleepless nights in the United Kingdom, her parents took her to Dr. Robert W. Clark, a neurologist and sleep-disorder specialist on the South Side. Rachel’s brother Rich, 21, also was treated for apnea, although his wasn’t as severe.

The family returned to Wales with donated breathing machines for Rachel and Rich. The machines supply air under pressure through a mask and into the mouths of apnea patients to help maintain clear breathing passages.

But Welsh doctors misdiagnosed Rachel’s problems as a less-severe type of apnea. They also couldn’t recalibrate the machines to the proper air pressure, Clark said, even at two of the top pediatric hospitals in Britain.


Democrats' most devout wish is to do turn our medical system too into one folks would raise money to escape.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 4, 2005 8:03 AM
Comments

"To pay for the trip, they raised about $20,000 from concerts and bar shows that attracted help from musician Phil Collins and British Prime Minister Tony Blair."

If Blair is doing fund raising for this kind of thing, why isn't he trying to dismantle National Health?

Posted by: at February 4, 2005 1:00 PM

"To pay for the trip, they raised about $20,000 from concerts and bar shows that attracted help from musician Phil Collins and British Prime Minister Tony Blair."

If Blair is doing fund raising for this kind of thing, why isn't he trying to dismantle National Health?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 4, 2005 1:00 PM
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