State Oks Extra Care For Saxton

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The Jan. 10 issue of the Roundup featured an article on a disabled Payson child and his family's struggle to maintain adequate care for their son, following a decision by AHCCCS to take away 30 hours of care each week by their certified nursing assistant.

Due to the attention the Kendalls received, the state has reinstated the family's 30 hours of care

Saxton Kendall was stricken with a rare muscle disorder that makes him immobile and dependent on a ventilator. Saxton's mother, Cori, was distraught when a letter, sent by Gila/Pinal Long-Term Care headquarters in Florence, declared the 30 hours of help from their certified nursing assistant (CNA), Gladys Garner, ‘medically unnecessary.'

In the Roundup article, Cori extended an invitation to the case managers in Florence who decided that Saxton did not need the assistance to come to Payson and meet their son.

On Jan. 17, two officials from Gila/Pinal AHCCCS answered the invitation and came to Payson. They were able to witness the high level of care Saxton requires.

The normal protocol for appealing an AHCCCS decision is a hearing in which parties go before a judge and state their case. The judge makes a decision which can still be overturned by AHCCCS. The Kendalls' hearing had been set for Feb. 6 in Globe.

Five days after the officials from AHCCCS met with the Kendalls, the revocation of the 30 hours of CNA assistance was overturned and the hearing canceled.

Cori stated that getting their 30 hours back was only part of positive things that have happened since the story on her son.

"My husband and I have received so much support from people," Cori said. "People going through the same thing have shared their stories and some have offered to volunteer their time to help out with Saxton's care. We've had strangers walk up to us and say, ‘How's your 30 hours?'"

Thanks to the reassessment by AHCCCS caseworkers, the Kendalls now have their 30 hours back.

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