Survivor of tainted epidural hopes St. Thomas will help pay bill - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Survivor of tainted epidural hopes St. Thomas will help pay bills

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Some people who survived last year's deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis are now facing a new challenge that will likely last much longer.

The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate 140 cases in Tennessee connected to the outbreak, including 14 deaths.

However, those now on the road to recovery are stuck with questions while holding large hospital tabs.

For months, Herb Mathias has been terrified, wondering if he'll make it.

"No matter how much they tell me, I'll never be 100 percent certain that I'm not going to have meningitis," Mathias said.

Mathias is one of the St. Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center patients who received a tainted spinal epidural injection supplied by the now closed New England Compounding Center. After two excruciating spinal taps, doctors ruled he had not contracted the deadly fungal meningitis, but he did come down with a secondary infection at his injection site.

"He just ended up with this great big cyst with the fungus in it," said girlfriend Sarah Neeley.

Now, Mathias is taking verizanocole - the same anti-fungal therapy given to patients who have fungal meningitis. It's the only known treatment for this mystery disease, and without it, patients could die.

Mathias is paying more than $2,700 a month for the medicine, and that's with his insurance covering some of the bill.

"They told me I would be on it for 90 days, then most probably another 90," Mathias said.

The cost of this treatment could run many patients financially dry, so Mathias said he believes St. Thomas should pick up the tab not just for himself, but also for all the patients who received tainted epidural shots at the Nashville outpatient clinic.

"I want them to take care of everybody's. That's what they should honorably do. If they can't, the state should close the doors on them," Mathias said.

In a statement Monday evening, St. Thomas officials said:

"We recognize that affected patients and their families will likely face a complex array of billing and claim payment issues associated with their screening and possible treatment. For patients without insurance, and consistent with our longstanding commitment to caring for those who are poor and vulnerable, our existing charity care policies would apply."

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Trump awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL in Afghan assault

    Trump awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL in Afghan assault

    Thursday, May 24 2018 3:12 PM EDT2018-05-24 19:12:14 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 1:25 AM EDT2018-05-25 05:25:35 GMT
    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). President Donald Trump stands with Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt K. Slabinski during a ceremony to award him the Medal of Honor in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Slabinski o...(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). President Donald Trump stands with Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt K. Slabinski during a ceremony to award him the Medal of Honor in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Slabinski o...
    President Donald Trump has awarded the Medal of Honor to a Navy SEAL who oversaw a daring assault and rescue mission on a snowy Afghanistan mountaintop in 2002.More >>
    President Donald Trump has awarded the Medal of Honor to a Navy SEAL who oversaw a daring assault and rescue mission on a snowy Afghanistan mountaintop in 2002.More >>
  • Probe: Missile that downed MH17 came from Russia-based unit

    Probe: Missile that downed MH17 came from Russia-based unit

    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 09:32:04 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 1:25 AM EDT2018-05-25 05:25:11 GMT
    The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based...

    More >>

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit.

    More >>
  • N. Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

    N. Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

    Thursday, May 24 2018 6:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 10:32:00 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 1:25 AM EDT2018-05-25 05:25:02 GMT
    Journalists took a long journey up to North Korea to witness the destruction of what North Korea said were nuclear sites. (Source: CNN)Journalists took a long journey up to North Korea to witness the destruction of what North Korea said were nuclear sites. (Source: CNN)

    North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

    More >>

    North Korea has carried out what it says is the demolition of its nuclear test site in the presence of foreign journalists.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly