In the days after a football injury left Eisenhower High School running back Rasul "Rocky" Clark paralyzed from the neck down, he was showered with attention from medical professionals and assured by school officials that he would be well taken care of, he said.I'm sure that the lifetime cap was set by a team of actuaries who figured out the average or maybe even the best case scenario for someone who becomes a quadripledic. Only that medical care has advanced enough to allow this young man to live for much longer than expected.
For nearly a decade Clark enjoyed superb medical care — nurses in his home around the clock, access to pain medicines and prescriptions and a storeroom of supplies.
Now the $5 million insurance policy that once covered Clark's medical care has reached its lifetime maximum and come to an end — and along with it, many of the benefits he once enjoyed. Those benefits may have kept him healthy enough to surpass the life expectancy for most quadriplegics, his mother and primary physician said.
"I was told I'd be taken care of all of my life," Clark, 27, said from his bed in his modest house in south suburban Robbins. "That was one thing that brought me comfort. I knew I'd be OK.
"Now it seems like I'm being penalized for living too long. That's how I see it."
Yes, he's being punished for living too long.
Yes, the insurance company's decision is a death sentence.
But no, I don't see Sarah Palin jetting out to rally with this young man and his tired mom. She won't be fighting for his life. Nor can I imagine any of the Republicans who went on and on about death panels or swear they are pro-life.
But I sure would love to be proven wrong. Come on Sarah, prove me wrong!
BTW - If anyone knows of a site where people can donate to Clark's care, please leave it in the comments. Thanks!