BRANDON — Her medical benefits were saved at the last minute, but the Bloomingdale rape victim still needs money.
The transition from Children's Medicaid Services, which covers all medical costs, to the Aged and Disabled Adult Medicaid waiver will leave some of her therapy treatments unpaid, the victim's sister said.
The family and supporters have organized two fundraisers this summer to help pay for the care not covered by the waiver.
The Keep an Angel Home golf tournament will be Sunday at Buckhorn Springs Golf & Country Club in Valrico. Registration has closed, but tickets for the spectator gallery are still available for $15.
The Keep an Angel Home barbecue is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 30 at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. It will include live music, raffle prizes, a silent auction, a bake sale and kids activities.
The family bought a hyperbaric chamber with the $25,000 raised at last year's barbecue. The victim's mother sits in it with her for two hours every day so that her blood cells and brain cells can be filled with pure oxygen to help them regrow.
The funds raised this summer will be used to pay for other intensive therapies, including the "therasuit" program at All Children's Hospital.
The victim's sister described the therasuit as a weighted, full-body suit with hooks that connect to bungee cords. It's used to help correct posture and retrain the muscles in the hopes that her sister could learn to walk on her own.
Three weeks of treatment costs $6,000.
"She's doing really well and improving every day," her sister said. "She's very alert and understands everything."
Once she is propped up she can now stand for 10 minutes or take a couple of steps with assistance, she said. She is also very verbal, but isn't forming words yet.
An attacker assaulted the then East Bay High School senior as she tried to put books in the after-hours drop box at the Bloomingdale library in April 2008. A little more than three years later, she can't walk, talk, see or eat on her own and requires round-the-clock care.
In May, a judge sentenced Kendrick Morris, who was 16 at the time, to 65 years in prison for the crime.
Biz Carson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2441.