Relief for Union Co. firefighter battling illness

By: Mark Edwards Email
By: Mark Edwards Email

UNION COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- "Get to live three more months, I know for sure, you know."

Without the drug Vivaglobin, doctors say Nick Harrell doesn't stand a chance of fighting off infection. But what a difference three days can make.

"Relief, thank God."

That relief comes from drug manufacturer CSL Behring, which makes the high-end medicine Nick needs to stay alive. After 72-hours of calls, emails and faxes to Behring's corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania, a break last night.

"I mean it's like a whole new day, whole new ballgame."

Nick will receive a three-month supply of Vivaglobin at no cost, offering an immediate solution. Nick's Sister-in-Law took the call and spread the news.

"I just couldn't wait to call him and let him know it was approved for the next three-months. He's got that much longer," Ashley Harrell told WVLT.

"A big relief. Big relief. Words can't describe what it feels like. It's a bad feeling knowing that you can't help him," said Nick's Mother Barbara.

"Thank God you know I was just so tickled you know words can't describe you know just can't describe it," said a relieved Nick Harrell.

Northeast Union Fire Chief Gordon Sartain has been leading efforts to call attention to one of his volunteer's life-threatening situations.

"There's been a lot of response about this and we're you know, this is going to help a lot with him. I'm glad that we're getting there. Pharmaceutical company, I appreciate them doing what they're doing now and maybe we can get a permanent solution before long," Chief Sartain, said.

Nick still has a fight on his hands, but for this young man who wanted to be a firefighter to help others in his community, Nick's hoping his story might shine a light on those with nowhere else to turn...And the strength to keep moving forward.

"Thank God you know. maybe other people out there sick like me you know needs help. I wish that they would get help. I pray for them, you know, that they could get help."


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  • by ASHLEY Location: MAYNARDVILLE on Nov 28, 2009 at 04:39 PM
    I WOULD LIKE EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT WHEN THEY SAY THAT THERE IS RELIEF FOR THE UNION COUNTY VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER THAT I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THEY GOT THEIR INFORMATION FROM BUT IT IS NOT TRUE THE ONLY THING THAT WE KNOW RIGHT NOW IS THAT HIS MEDICATION THAT COST $10,000.00 A MONTH IS ONLY COVERED UNTIL DECMBER 31,2009 AFTER THAT WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN BUT EVERBODY IS TELLING THAT HE HAS HIS INSURANCE BACK IF HE DOES WHERE IS IT AT AND WHY ARE WE STILL PAYING OUT OF OUR POCKETS FOR HIS MEDICINE BY MOUTH WHICH IS AROUND 1200-1300 DOLLARS A MONTH AND YOU MAY GO TO HIS PHARMACY AT OKIES PHARMACY AND VERIFY IT IF YOU WOULD LIKE WE HAVE NOTHING TO LIE ABOUT ALL WE WANT IS HIS INSURANCE BACK AND FOR THE FALSE INFORMATION TO STOP BEING TOLD
  • by jess Location: maynardville on Nov 3, 2009 at 08:32 PM
    I love you guys and in gods will you will be here everyday that he wants you here. and dont worrie sis we will get through this together.we will fight it to the end
  • by someone who cares Location: union county on Oct 24, 2009 at 04:18 PM
    I am aware of this situation and I am also trying to help both Nick and Ronnie.Praying God sends an answer
  • by ANONOMOUS Location: MAYNARDVILLE,TN on Oct 22, 2009 at 01:40 PM
    I DONT KNOW WHO IS FOLLOWING THIS STORY BUT THERE IS A RUMOR GOING AROUND THAT NICK HARRELL HAS GOTTEN HIS TENNCARE BACK AND EVRYTHING IS OK BUT IT IS NOT TRUE THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE OTHER THAN HIS IV MEDICATIONS IS SUPPOSED TO BE APPROVED FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS BUT EVERYTHING ELSE IS BEING BOUGHT BY HIS PARENTS AND HIS BROTHER AND SISTER-IN LAW SO PLEASE HELP OUT IN ANYWAY THAT YOU CAN
  • by angie Location: union on Sep 29, 2009 at 01:27 PM
    it is so sad a young mans life can not be helped by insurance that is sad you have to fight for your life and insurance thanks to the people out there willing to fight for him
  • by Anonymous on Sep 29, 2009 at 01:14 PM
    there are still good (great) people out there

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