Wheelchair causes family insurance problems

Seven On Your Side
January 23, 2008 4:00:56 PM PST
All one Dutchess County woman wanted was a wheelchair for her paralyzed son. What she got was paperwork bungle that left her out thousands. That's until Seven on your Side's Tappy Phillips stepped in.

Life was hard enough for the Putnam county family, taking care of their brain-damaged son. But they also had to wrangle with a wheelchair company and that was just too much.

This is Vivian Ayala's stark reality. Each day for the past decade she's become her son Victor's arms and legs.

"He's mine. I brought him to the world and it's my duty to take care of him. And i will do that until i can't anymore," said Vivian.

Vivian says her son was happy and healthy for his first seven years but a medical mistake nearly killed him and left him severely brain damaged.

One of vivian's missions? Securing a new wheelchair for Victor.

"The other one he had since this happened to him, since he was seven. So he outgrew that it was a tiny little thing," added Ayala.

Vivian paid the wheelchair company, Medstar directly more than $5,000 for the chair and then she put in for reimbursment from her insurance company.

Last October her insurance company sent money to Medstar.

Medstar was supposed to reimburse Vivian thousands. In fact last November she got a $900 check from Medstar but the rest of the money never came.

"I was just so furious. I said I am not going to get anywhere so that's when i contacted 7 on your side," added the mom.

So we called on Medstar and just a day after we contacted them, Vivian's check arrived.

Medstar said the reimbursement came in a larger check with reimbursements for other claims and that there was a delay in applying it to the Ayala's account.