My name is Kelsey Van Praag. I am 21 years old and live in Sarasota, Florida. I am currently in the hospital paralyzed in both of my arms and hands. I have been completely paralyzed for over 2 weeks and have been in Sarasota Memorial Hospital for a week and a half.
All of the doctors, nurses and physical therapists feel that it is imperative that I get into an intensive inpatient NeuroRehab center right away. Every day that goes by gives me less of a chance of regaining my arms and hands.
The problem is that my insurance company, Florida Blue, is refusing to authorize payment even though I have coverage for this type of treatment and facility. We have filed appeals and my medical team is doing everything possible to try and get me the treatment I desperately need.
Treatment centers like this are expensive and due to the severity of my condition and the length of time I have already been fully paralyzed I will likely have to be there for a while. The goal amount in here covers one week of treatment.
Since my dad passed away unexpectedly a year ago it is just my mom and I. My mom is disabled and due to my health complications I haven't been able to work.
I am never one to ask others for help but this is risking my future. Without proper treatment started as soon as possible I risk never regain use of my arms and hands. Because Florida Blue has taken so long to process things and has turned it down multiple times already it is possible that it could be too late. Injuries like this require immediate intensive treatment and in order to save a few bucks, Florida Blue was gambling my future. I'm only 21 years old. I have my whole life I had of me and have so much I want to accomplish. If I'm not able to get the help I need to regain at least partial use of my arms and hands, I'll have to say goodbye to all of my dreams for the future.
I don't want anyone to feel obligated to have to help. From the bottom of my heart I don't want anyone to feel bad if they are unable to help. I ordinarily would never even ask but I have hit a point where I am desperate and scared. Anything at all helps. If you are able to help I want to thank you from the deepest part of my heart and soul. I plan on keeping everyone updated on my recovery through the whole process.
If you are able to help, thank you. If you aren't able to help and you share this in hopes of people finding it who are able to help, thank you. If there is nothing you can do but you took the time to read this far, thank you. I'm going to attach a few posts from family members and myself in order to hopefully give some more context and information on the situation. If you have any questions at all please let me know. Thank you for taking The time to read this, I sincerely appreciate it with all my heart. If you could send positive and healing vibes my way or keep me in your prayers it would mean more to me than I can put into words. Thanks!
Posts and Updates from my Mom:
"Ok FB family and friends, Kelsey Van Praag needs your prayers, positive energy and healing vibes. For some unknown reason she has lost the use of her arms. We are running into every possible road block in getting her back into inpatient rehab. The pain is excruciating. She so doesn't deserve this! We're a pair of strong women, but enough is enough. Will keep you updated. Kel can't use her phone, computer etc. kinda need arms and hands to do that so send messages to me or my face book. Don't be insulted if it takes a while to respond."
"Well it took a LOT of phone calls, drs, threats and stress but Kelsey Van Praag is in the neurology section of the hospital. Hopefully, she will be transferred to the rehab unit quickly. She still has no movement or feeling in both her arms. The urgency was because the longer she's paralyzed, the more difficult it is to get the movement back.
I will keep you all updated as much as I can.
Thank you for all your kind words, prayers and good vibes. Please keep them coming! We need all the help we can get !"
"So here's a Kelsey Van Praag update. She's still in the hospital and both arms are still paralyzed. We thought she was going to be transferred to the rehab unit today, but Florida Blue Cross wouldn't authorize it. She is in dire need of intensive therapy if there's to be any chance of her regaining movement. 3 doctors referred her to this type of treatment. Every day that passes makes recovery harder. We are fighting the decision but in the meantime the hospital is going to discharge to a less intensive in patient facility, of course only if insurance authorizes that, or to home.
What gives the insurance companies the right to make these decisions when that type of coverage is included in her plan? What recourse do we have?
Sorry to vent! Totally frustrated and angry!"
A quick update from me with background info:
"I don't know if anyone will be able to help but I'm pretty much at my wits end right now. I was diagnosed with RSD/CRPS just over a year ago after a complication during surgery left me paralyzed in both arms. After weeks in inpatient therapy I got back some use of my arms/hands. I never have gotten feeling back and the pain is almost constantly on a level I never imagined possible. Two weeks ago today I lost use of both of my arms and hands again. The doctors don't know why. I've been in the hospital for a week and a half. The doctors feel I need to be in intensive inpatient rehab again but my insurance keeps denying the authorization for it so I'm just stuck in the hospital still paralyzed after 14 days. I'm scared and overwhelmed and I was just wondering if anybody had any experience with anything like this or had anything to offer that might be helpful. Can I RSD result in total paralysis? If anything similar has happened to you in the past, was there anything that you did that helped or anything that I should avoid doing? I'm just terrified. I'm only 21 and I'm afraid I'm never going to get my arms back. I'm sorry for venting here, I just don't have anybody to talk to about this that would possibly understand."
* I apologize for any typos or parts that don't make sense. This had to be done using voice software and typing with my nose. *