BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - In 2003, Ebony Ramirez was hit by a semi-truck. That accident paralyzed her and left her unable to speak. Her mother, Tyice Morsette, has been taking care of her ever since, but a bad case of fraud is keeping her from giving Ebony the best life she could.
Since that day in 2003, Morsette has become Ebony’s “mouth, voice, feet, hands, everything.” Ebony was in a coma for two years after the accident, and shortly after waking up, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had to get a hysterectomy.
Ebony’s battle with cancer was successful, and she became cancer free in 2007. The following year, Morsette decided to ask her doctor for a wheelchair prescription. Morsette said she wanted to “get her up, get her blood circulating and let her know that there’s life outside these walls.”
Ebony did get a wheelchair, and now she has had it for five years. Because of continuous use, the wheelchair is now falling apart.
On Thursday, September 12, Morsette brought Ebony to her doctor to ask for a new wheelchair. After receiving the prescription and it being faxed to a medical supplier, the doctor’s assistant said she can’t get a new wheelchair because the system shows that one was given to her a couple of years prior.
After looking into the paperwork, the doctor’s office found out that a medical supplier, that Morsette has never used or heard of before that day, billed Ebony’s Medicare for a power wheelchair.
“That would never happen. If anybody knows anything about Ebony, they would know she can not use an electric wheelchair, she does not have peripheral vision, period. She can only use her thumb,” described Morsette.
But this is not the first time that Morsette has dealt with fraud. Back in 2011, she tried getting a newer wheelchair for Ebony but was also denied due to the same problem. A problem Morsette thinks was caused by stolen medical information.
That case took a year to clear up, but Morsette says that her daughter can not afford this time around.
“It’s just that I watch my baby lay in that bed and she is dying. And I can’t do nothing about it,” said Morsette while tearing up.