I'm not dead

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Seven On Your Side
January 25, 2010 3:11:39 PM PST
It was a single mistake, a clerical error leading to months of stress, anger, and frustration. An 82 year old woman, very much alive, declared dead by her hospital. Imagine how strange it would be to read about your own passing. That's what this 82 year old Brooklyn grandmother is doing.

That's right, Long Island College Hospital, the very hospital that treated her for a stroke and a heart attack all within a 3 week period, marked Mildred down as "deceased."

"I can't believe this is happening," says the spry grandmother.

It all started on November 29th while Mildred was working out at the gym she suffered a heart attack. After she was discharged from Long Island college Hospital a clerk told her daughter records showed her mother was dead.

"Just in general, this is a mess," said her weary daughter.

This is where the mistake originated, at the top of her discharge papers, she was marked down as "deceased."

"This is me, you're looking at a ghost," said Mildred.

As a result, Mildred's Social Security, Medicare and AARP membership were all canceled. And with no insurance? Mildred has to pay full price for medication and doctor visits. "Just Tuesday I went to the foot doctor and they had me as deceased and doctor called and said i can't do your feet you got to pay me 75 dollars they have you deceased."

Mildred says her calls Social Security restored her payments. But she's still dead to Medicare.

Her daughter just wants this to end, "It's hard to believe she's been through so much with the heart attack and I hate for her to be under this kind of stress now.

So, 7 on your side contacted Social Security which finally corrected the record with Medicare. She's getting both her prescription drug coverage and social security checks again.

"You really helped me because i was getting such a run around you know but thank god i finally got the letter yesterday that i am back on medicare and all my coverage.

The hospital told us they regret the coding error that led to Mildred's problems and have reimbursed her all of her out of pocket expenses. Most importantly, Mildred can see her doctors and get all of her medication without any problem.

Story by: Nina Pineda

Produced by: Steve Livingstone