UPDATE: Metro Girl with Asthma Awaiting Multiple Surgeries

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In September, we told you about a Kansas City girl with severe lung problems.

Medicaid was refusing to pay for her to be seen by specialists in Denver.

Markita Poole was out of school in September, at home for the third straight  year.  The 11-year-old can’t go to class because of severe asthma and chronic lung disease — the result of being born prematurely weighing just 27 ounces.

“As her mother, I want her to live her life not be sittin’ at home,” Kathy Poole, Markita’s mom said.

Markita’s family and her doctors at Children’s Mercy Hospital wanted her to go to National Jewish Health in Denver, which is regarded as being a top center for lung diseases.  But their Missouri medicaid plan refused to pay.

After our story aired, Markita’s church family at Barker Memorial Cathedral of Praise donated more than $4,000.  Then, Medicaid decided it would cover the evaluation in Denver.

The family just returned from a two-week stay there.

“(The doctors) made me do tests,” Markita said. “They put a tube down my nose.”

The news wasn’t what the family had hoped for.

“I went there thinking they can fix her, but they couldn’t,” Kathy said. ” They also showed me what needed to be done.”

Some of Markita’s many meds were changed, and the doctors said she needs three surgical procedures — all done at once. One is for her acid reflux.  Part of her stomach will be wrapped around the esophagus to stop food from backing up and getting into her lungs.  That could help her breathing. However, the sedation required will be riskier for Markita because of her breathing problems.

“My biggest hope is just to get through these procedures.  That’s it,” Kathy said.

Markita just wants to be where other 11-year-olds are. Her wishes are simple.

“That I get to go back to school.”

Markita is expected to have the three operations — all at once — sometime this month at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Overland Park.

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