Saturday, October 18, 2008

Healthcare: Part Four

Her are a few of the images from the fourth of my five Saturday Features about election issues. This is a story about the Cox family of Holland, Indiana, who juggle employer-provided insurance and government assistance to meet the healthcare needs of their four children.

Marissa, one of the Cox triplets, has her height measured by x at the WIC office in Jasper. Because they were born premature and are growing at a slower rate, the triplets are eligible for periodic checkups to evaluate their progress.

All four Cox children have allergies, and are dosed with Zyrtec. Though the medicine can be purchased over-the-counter, Medicaid will cover it if it is prescribed, but only in the liquid form. Makayla takes her medicine as Marissa waits her turn.

Jaycia talks about her difficulties at her mainstream middle school with her roommate Tara from the Indianapolis School for the Blind, which she attends for a week each month. Her parents credit the school with their evolved approach to parenting a child with a disability. "We used to keep her sheltered," says Jaycia's mother, Tonya, "but now we let her do whatever she wants, because we know that tomorrow she could wake up blind. We want her to live as ordinary a life as possible."

Marissa pours water on her sister Makenzie's hair as Makayla waits her turn during bathtime at the Cox household.

At a recent eye exam, the opthamologist checks Jaycia's eyes for any change in pressure related to her glaucoma. Born with congenital cataracts, Jaycia has undergone 15 surgeries, and has subsequently developed galucoma, which may eventually lead to blindness. The opthamologist discovered calcium deposits on Jaycia's eyes, which had made wearing contacts painful and may require additional surgeries to remove.

Jaycia gets fitted for new eyeglasses nearly ever six months, because her prescription changes so frequently. Her father Gene's insurance through work covers one pair of glasses a year, and Medicaid covers the other pair.

Jaycia calms her cranky younger sister Makenzie in the moments before dinner time. Like Jaycia, Makenzie was born with congenital cataracts, though at age three she has required only one pair of glasses. Even amidst the chaos of pre-dinner preparations, their sister Makayla rests on the chair beside them.


Jenn said...

I say YES to the bathtub moment. Love it!

Also, the last.

Joshua Bickel said...

really, really nice images. health care is such a hard topic to make visually interesting, but you do it well here.

nice moments, too, especially the first and last. i like bathtime too, just not sure how it could relate to this theme of health care, but i do think it shows a wonderful relationship between those three.

keep rockin. i know you will.

Stuart Peterson said...

Bathtub is great and the one of the girl on the floor is beautiful framed! Nice work!

Sheila Johnson said...

1, 4 and the last are my faves. Funny how everyone loves the bathtub one... I like it too, but it feels more clich├ęd than the rest, and totally out of context. Nice to see a "picture story,' and that there was some time in the newspaper-work world to develop some intimacy with the people whose lives you are showing. Good job!

Sheila Johnson said...

Whoops! I didn't mean 4, that's the bath one! I meant the eye exam one with the googly machine thing. Classic!