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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The family of a Louisville girl - who takes eight medications a day - is fighting to help keep the one device that helps her breathe easier. Friends of April Payton have helped stage fundraisers for her daughter, Karcin, who relies on a medical vest to keep her lungs clear.
The move comes after the family's insurance company denied coverage for the cost of the $16,000 device.
April says Karcin has struggled with lung issues since her premature birth. Twice a day, Karcin puts on a medical device known as "The Vest," created by Hillrom, an Indiana-based company.
She puts on this vest, sits, waits and shakes. The shaking lasts about 20 minutes. The vibrating vest is designed to help break up the mucus in her lungs.
"It allows air to flow because she is not prompted to "a-hem" cough like that like we are, so it breaks it up so that she can get it out," April told WDRB News.
April says the vest has meant fewer hospital stays for her daughter.
"It's worked. It's really worked," April said. "I was kind of skeptical. And I don't want that to be taken away from her."
While two-year old Karcin has suffered from a number of lung issues since birth - including bronchial issues and chronic asthma - she does not have cystic fibrosis. And because of that, the family says the insurance company, Cigna, won't cover the cost of the $16,000 vest.
April's husband works two just to make ends meet, while April spends her days caring for their four other children and Karcin.
"It is very hard, she's got more doctors that I can count on my hands. It is very tiring," Payton said.
A letter from Hillrom, makers of the vest, details the denial by the insurance company. But it also offers them some hope through financial assistance. April says it will likely mean her daughter will be able to keep the vest as long as they can pay in installments.
In April Payton's kitchen, this phrase is painted on the wall "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
April says it's a fitting statement, given that her friends helped raise roughly $5000 at a fundraising even this past weekend. It's money they'll use to put towards the vest, she says.
"As far as people supporting us, it's awesome," she said.
The family is planning another fundraiser in June.