No Car, No Care? Medicaid Transport Program Faces Cuts In Some States
Unable to walk or talk, barely able to see or hear, 5-year-old Maddie Holt of Everett, Wash., waits in her wheelchair for a ride to the hospital.
The 27-pound girl is dressed in polka-dot pants and a flowered shirt for the trip, plus a red headband with a sparkly bow, two wispy blond ponytails poking out on top of her head.
Her parents can’t drive her. They both have disabling vision problems; and, besides, they can’t afford a car. When Maddie was born in 2012 with the rare and usually fatal genetic condition called Zellweger syndrome, Meagan and Brandon Holt, then in their early 20s, were plunged into a world of overwhelming need — and profound poverty.
“We lost everything when Maddie got sick,” says Meagan Holt, now 27.
Multiple times each month, Maddie sees a team of specialists at Seattle Children’s Hospital who treat her for the condition that has left her nearly blind and deaf, with frequent seizures and life-threatening liver problems.