Immigrant Status Blocks Necessary Surgery - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/29/02

Immigrant Status Blocks Necessary Surgery

Healthcare can be costly, but when it's your child, money just doesn't matter. That's true for the family of ten-year-old Shawna Crawford. Just over three months ago, Rick and Lorna Crawford of Hardeeville found out that their daughter's kidneys were failing. It's been a roller coaster of emotion, money and immigration ever since. But caught up in the middle is little Shawna.

"It's just so heartbreaking to see her," said Lorna. "It's just part of her life now, she accepts she's just ten and has this complete different way of life and she's okay."

Donate to the Shawna Crawford Fund at any South Carolina Bank and Trust location.

But Shawna is not okay. She plays with the kids from her school. She's quick to raise her hand in class and has a 91 average. But Shawna's world has been turned upside down since she found out she needed a kidney

"You know, she got out of the bed and collapsed," recalled father Rick.

Within 15 hours of that, Shawna was told by doctors that both her kidneys were essentially not functioning. Now little Shawna is stuck in the middle as both she and her mom are from England and are still in the immigration process.

"She's getting all swelled up," said Rick. "There are good days and they are fewer and fewer."

And on top of everything else, the bills are piling up and the Crawfords have no insurance.

"This was for $7,000 for just over 12 hours," said Rick, showing us a bill. "This one is more reasonable, $1,600 for six hours."

What is not reasonable is a little girl caught up in the middle, fighting for her life. The doctors in Charleston want to remove Shawna's kidneys, because they say they are basically not working, but until the immigration process is finished, she can't even get on the waiting list.

If you would like to help Shawna and her family there is a fund set up. You can go by any South Carolina Bank and Trust and make a donation in the name of Shawna Crawford.

Reported by: David Allgood

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