Tampa, Florida – After hearing the story of 19-year-old Caitlin White, people couldn't stop talking about the Lakeland teenager who needed brain surgery, but was denied by her insurance carrier, Aetna.
They were talking so much that Governor Charlie Crist's office heard about it, after the story aired on Tampa Bay's 10 News.
After a week-long investigation by reporter Melanie Brooks, the insurance company, along with Tampa General Hospital, made the decision to cover 100 percent of the surgery.
Even though Governor Crist is in Europe, his office contacted Aetna insurance this week to ask for help with Caitlin's surgery.
Media spokesperson Sterling Ivey told us late Friday evening, “They can now move forward. The family has peace.”
Brooks spoke with Caitlin's mother, Sheila Jackson, by phone Friday afternoon who told us, “Everything is ready for Monday morning. We couldn't have done it without you!”
Caitlin suffers from Chiari Malformation, a brain disorder that causes dangerous fainting spells and excruciating headaches. Without surgery, Caitlin will lose all of her motor skills, her memory and possibly her life.
We will follow her surgery, and let you know how it goes!
To watch previous stories about Caitlin, click here.
Melanie Brooks,Tampa Bay's 10 News