TAMPA, (Fla.) – Initially, it appeared that Lia Pickford’s first Thanksgiving would be filled with despair. But days before the holiday, her family got the news that would change their Thanksgiving day in a way they had only hoped could come true.
It started with a phone call the week before Thanksgiving.
"The original voice mail said that he wanted to speak with me regarding the 'incident' involving Lia's prescription,” said Lia’s mother, Christina Alesandrini. “So that, to me, was pretty evident that they had gotten wind of the news story."
A day earlier, 10News aired a story on Lia and her family’s struggle to keep up with the cost of her prescription medication, which was $700 out of pocket every month because Florida Blue, the insurance carrier, said they wouldn’t cover the medicine.
Now, Florida Blue was calling to say they had reviewed Lia’s case and decided to cover her medicine after all.
"He was very, very nice, he was apologetic for everything we had gone through, he didn't mention the news story at all but he was very apologetic for everything,” said Alesandrini. "I was shocked and then I wasn't. Because… I felt a great sense of relief, but I knew that this story had basically lit a fire under them."
“I know it's still a huge issue,” she added. “I know, for a lot of people, the outcome is not going to be like this for them, I can just be extremely grateful that this was the outcome for our family."
“This is her first Thanksgiving,” said Drake Pickford, Lia’s father. “The road to this has been extremely bumpy, and now that this is covered it’s a huge relief that she’s going to be happy, she’s going to be pain-free now. It almost makes us pain-free at the same time because when she’s in pain it hurts us because there’s nothing we can do about it.”
(© 2017 WTSP)