North Georgia man diagnosed with chronic disease; needs help - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

North Georgia man diagnosed with chronic disease; needs help getting to doctor

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CATOOSA CO. GA. (WRCB) -- Its hard to imagine just six months ago Catoosa County's Pete Parsley, 44, was an active fisherman with a full time job. Now he's wheelchair bound and has to rely on others to get around.

"He has no strength left at all," says his wife, Judi.

In early Sept. Judi noticed a lump on his neck. "I pointed it out to the doctor when we went for a visit and he said well it could be nothing," she says.  

However, his diagnoses came as a shock. Pete had lymphoma and for the next couple of weeks underwent multiple surgeries to remove tumors from his neck and spine. All the while his health was deteriorating. "He can barley sit up straight," Judi says.  

By Oct. Pete could no longer stand up and his wife, who had been helping him to and from the doctor, was getting tired. "I have to have a way to get him there," she says.

Unable to navigate the bureaucratic waters of Medicaid the family turned to friends for temporary help.

Using a make shift lawn mower ramp they converted their mini van into a wheelchair accessible vehicle. However, they know it can't last forever.

"I can't imagine not having him with me, not being with me in any way. I'll do whatever I have to do," says Judi.

The ambulance service that supports local Medicaid patients tells Channel 3 the family should qualify for help. However, we called Georgia's office for Medicaid Thursday and had a hard time reaching a live person.  

That's what the Parsleys have been going through for months and without any immediate help from Medicaid, they've looked at purchasing a new van. "They're more than we can afford," says Judi.  

However, she won't stop trying. "I've only had him for 12 and a half years, I want 12 more," Judi says.

Pete had hoped to begin physical therapy next week. However, without transportation Judi says its unlikely that will happen.

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