TennCare cuts potentially fatal for one Dandridge woman

By: Mark Edwards Email
By: Mark Edwards Email

DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- "She will die without her medications."

John Duford, on the phone with the Governor's office. A call he hopes will help save his wife Tonya's life.

"They've pretty much given me a death sentence at this point."

Tonya needs expensive seizure medication, which costs three-thousand dollars a month, nearly all of the family's monthly income. During his "State of the State" teleconference today, we asked Governor Bredesen about Tonya's situation.

"Certainly if somebody has 15 days to live without the drugs, we're going to figure out how to get the drugs, how to get the drugs to them," Governor Phil Bredesen told WVLT.

Those words from Governor Bredesen should be comforting. But they're not.

"When the phone rings I expect to hear the word no again. I'll be glad if I don't, but I don't suspect it to work," Tonya, said. "Ive lost faith that anything's going to happen. Anything positive."

As John continues to work the phones in Nashville, the Governor, once again, tells Tonya Duford through WVLT that she won't fall through the cracks.

"I can't offer you a comprehensive insurance package if you don't qualify for TennCare, but if you need some drugs to stay healthy or to stay alive, for heaven's sake, we'll figure out how to get 'em for ya."

For Tonya Duford, she prays the Governor's right.

"I have a half month's medication left and I may be able to fill it one more time with the 15 days on insurance they gave me and then after that I'm going to die."


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