Klein retrieves medical records for disabled woman

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Senator Jeff Klein helped a Morris Park woman who was severely injured in a car accident in Florida and moved back to New York, get her medical records for much needed treatments to a life-endangering condition.

Sondra Barabash was living in the Miami, Florida area in 2004, when she and her boyfriend were in a serious car accident that left her with a number of permanent injuries.

When her boyfriend died of complications related to the accident in Florida last November, with no means of support, Sondra came back to live with her mother Evelyn in Morris Park.

It was then that an interstate battle for medical records began, as a hospital in Florida wanted to charge $1 a page for Sondra’s lengthy medical records to be sent to New York.

Sondra would have been charged a total of $395, which she needed before getting treatment through Medicaid, if Klein did not contact the hospital and arrange for a free transfer.

“It’s unconscionable that after a serious tragedy a family should find itself vulnerable to the advances of greed,” Klein said.

Evelyn, who is caring for her daughter, was trying to get her to see a doctor in New York, but was unable to because her medical records were in Florida.

“If Senator Klein wasn’t able to get her records, we wouldn’t get in to see a doctor. Her medication will run out at the end of July, and she could have gone into diabetic shock,” her mother said, noting that the accident damaged Sondra’s thyroid.  “We are getting her to see a doctor just under the wire.”

An appointment was scheduled for July 29 so that Sandra can obtain more medicine and have a trach in her neck removed.

 “I contacted Senator Klein’s office in January, and they were wonderful,” Sondra said. “They have helped us with everything. I don’t know how I would have gotten the records without the senator’s office contacting Jackson Memorial hospital in Miami.”

Sondra, who grew up in the Bronx after moving to the borough from Queens when she was six years old, is now attempting to get Social Security Disability.  

 “The SSA claims she is not disabled, but she has a serious thyroid problem, and is now a diabetic as a result of this accident,” said her mother. “Sondra has immobility due to a gash on her lower back which she got in the accident.”

While the Barabash family continues their struggles, Klein has offered further assistance. 

“I will continue to work to make sure that Ms. Barabash gets the care and the coverage she needs,” he said.  “My heart goes out to the family and my office is here to help.”

Updated 5:29 pm, October 21, 2011
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