Injured mom now an advocate for health insurance

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A mother injured during childbirth and whose medical bill for surgery this month amounted to thousands of dollars, is encouraging people to get medical insurance.

Martina Edwards said had it not been for her insurance, she would have never been able to walk again because she would not have had the money to pay for the hip replacement surgery she had on March 27 in Trinidad, along with the medical examinations, medication and other care prior to the procedure.

Edwards said she never had any major health issues prior to the crisis she faced after May 2018 when the tissues in her hips deteriorated to the point that she could not walk due to a difficult delivery of her baby who died minutes after birth.

The woman said she only had insurance because her workplace provided it for staff.

“I didn’t think much about it. My mentality basically was that you’re paying these insurance companies and they’re making money off you and you never claim, so what’s the point? The point was if I didn’t have insurance I would still be in my former situation because I would not have had the money to run the diagnostics needed to diagnose my condition,” she said.

She also stated, “I wouldn’t have been able to see a specialist. I would not have been able to have my surgery done because I wouldn’t be able to afford it. So I would just like to take the time to encourage young people. I know how it can be financially, but insurance is very important.”

 Although it was just over a week ago that Edwards had the hip replacement surgery, she has already been informed that the procedure was a success and she will walk again.

She said despite being a little sore from the surgery, the past week was the best she has felt, health wise, since having the baby.

The pain she felt prior to surgery, she said, is indescribable.

 The 34-year-old woman said she now sees the importance of insurance and would never stop advocating for it because it saved the day for her, and is also helping to keep her daughter healthy.

“Insurance is very important, especially when you have children. My daughter also has a health condition that I have to take her to her paediatrician ever so often and insurance is what assists me with that to make sure she is okay,” she said.

After the crisis with her hips last year, Edwards lost her job, had to find a new place to live, and could no longer care for her five-year-old daughter.

She now looks forward to the future, thanking State Insurance Corporation and the Medical Benefits Scheme which jointly covered her medical expenses.

Meanwhile, she is still baffled as to what led to the death of the baby she delivered and believes it is linked to her being forced to perform a normal delivery despite the difficulties she was experiencing and her pleas for a caesarean birth.

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