10:23 PM CDT Apr 14, 2014
Lawrence Bolden III was born with complete Di’George Syndrome; he has no immune system. Doctors once told his mother, Shalina Bolden, her son might have two years of life.
Baby Lawrence has been hospitalized at Omaha’s Children’s Hospital and Medical Center since November. His best shot at survival is a thymus transplant, only being done at Duke University and not federally approved.
Medicaid denied the transplant twice. Shalina Bolden contacted KETV in March, looking for help to save her son’s life.
“Give Baby Lawrence a chance at life,” said told KETV’s Brandi Petersen.
Within days of KETV’s interview with Bolden, she received a letter from the state department of Health and Human Services that all earlier coverage denials were set aside and a new review was underway.
Around noon Monday, Bolden received another letter from Nebraska DHHS. Medicaid approved Lawrence’s transplant.
“I was shell shocked. It seemed unreal because I fought so hard for it,” said Bolden. “It took a couple of minutes for it to digest and then tears just fell down my face.”
Monday night, KETV was there was friends and family members gathered in Lawrence’s room at Children’s. Surrounded by the nurses who have been with her and Lawrence every step of the way, Bolden shared the news. Lawrence’s nurses clapped, his sisters cheered, his family members cried.
Lawrence, who just sprouted a few new teeth, will celebrate his first birthday Wednesday.
“I can’t explain what it means to say my son has a chance at life,” said Bolden.
Lawrence and Shalina Bolden will fly to Duke in North Carolina within the next few days. Bolden wants to express her gratitude to her family and friends, who have not only supported her throughout her fight, but will help take care of her daughters while she is in Durham with Lawrence.
She also wants to thanks all of the people, especially the strangers, who reached out to her and donated to her family. Bolden says she even heard from on the first recipients of this transplant, a man who is now in his 20’s and healthy.
The Bolden family has set up a fund at Centris Bank under the name Lawrence Bolden III.