For Brianna Huey, attending to her children’s needs has become a round-the-clock job with very few breaks. She spends her days making sure her two chronically ill children take their daily medications and attend their regular doctor visits.
She spends days – and sometimes even weeks – in the hospital whenever her children get sick.
Her 3-year-old daughter, Melianna, was diagnosed with dysphagia and requires to be fed primarily through a feeding tube. She also suffers from acid reflux, asthma, and early stages of autism.
Meanwhile, her 8-year-old son, Eastahn, has sickle-cell anemia, which can trigger pain crises. He was also diagnosed with asthma and has multiple allergies.
“Just within the last month alone, we probably made about 8 to 10 doctors visits,” Brianna said.
The single mother from Glendale also has medical conditions of her own. She suffers from fibromyalgia, neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome and other health issues.
Brianna said what brings her some relief is knowing that her children’s and her own medical needs are covered. The family has healthcare insurance though AHCCCS.
“AHCCCS has been a lifesaver for us, to be honest,” she said. “When my kids get sick, I’m able to rush them to the hospital and they’re able to be taken care of.”
In addition to the doctor visits and the emergency room visits, the AHCCCS health insurance covers the medications Brianna and her two children need, which combined add up to more than two dozen medications.
Brianna said she hopes lawmakers in Washington, D.C., will not cut funding for Medicaid, which is making it possible for her and her children to get the medical care they need. Otherwise, without their healthcare coverage, she said, “I don’t know what will happen to us.”