Plant City family says state ordered wrong device for paraplegic son, told they are stuck with it

News

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Plant City family is fighting to get their son the stand-up frame medical device he needs for his therapy.

The device was ordered and paid for by tax money through a state program, but someone mistakenly ordered the wrong type of device. Now, the family says they are told they are stuck with it, and the correct device won’t be ordered.

“I was shocked,” said Nicole Duffey. “This is something he really needs for his care.”

Her son, Kolten Smith, was a standout football player for Durant High School. He was in a terrible accident in June 2018 and is now a paraplegic. Smith went on to graduate from high school in May and is now in college.

He is improving and is hopeful for the future.

“You can stay above all the negativity and move on in your life and do good things for yourself and everyone around you,” Smith said.

Doctors recommended a standing frame to help Smith stand for 30 minutes a day.

“It aligns his spinal cord and the pathways that are needed to get the signals down past the point of injury to help hopefully wake those back up,” Duffey said.

She said a caseworker through the state’s Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program met with them in the hospital and offered a standing frame for free. The program is through the state Department of Health.

The standing frame costs thousands of dollars, and Duffey was thrilled at the opportunity. It took a year to get to her son, and it when the box showed up, it was the wrong device.

Instead, the state had ordered a sit-to-stand power lift. Smith was disappointed and calls the device dangerous.

“I had to pretty much hold half my body weight up to be able to stand up all the way. It also didn’t have stuff to lock out my legs,” Smith said. ” It was just a pad in front of my knees, so that was very unsafe.”

Duffey says Brian and Spinal Cord Injury Program won’t take back the device or reorder the one her son really needs.

A spokesman for the Department of Health tells Better Call Behnken the division director and regional director have pulled case files and notes and are reviewing the situation.

We will stay on this story until this family has answers.

LATEST STORIES:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Thousands turn out for first day of Gasparilla Distance Classic

Thumbnail for the video titled "Thousands turn out for first day of  Gasparilla Distance Classic"

STORM TEAM 8 FORECAST: Sunshine returns but cool temps stick around for one more day

Thumbnail for the video titled "STORM TEAM 8 FORECAST: Sunshine returns but cool temps stick around for one more day"

Low temps have people seeking warmth inside businesses, cold weather shelters

Thumbnail for the video titled "Low temps have people seeking warmth inside businesses, cold weather shelters"

Hillsborough deputies arrest 2 men in computer scheme that targeted victims across US

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hillsborough deputies arrest 2 men in computer scheme that targeted victims across US"

Medical marijuana dispensaries broken into in Clearwater, one at 4:20 a.m.

Thumbnail for the video titled "Medical marijuana dispensaries broken into in Clearwater, one at 4:20 a.m."

Security footage shows medical marijuana dispensary break-in

Thumbnail for the video titled "Security footage shows medical marijuana dispensary break-in"

Coronavirus Concerns: University of Tampa cancels study abroad trip to China

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coronavirus Concerns: University of Tampa cancels study abroad trip to China"

How to be prepared for when an earthquake hits

Thumbnail for the video titled "How to be prepared for when an earthquake hits"

Detectives: Gunman killed FHP trooper on I-95 without warning

Thumbnail for the video titled "Detectives: Gunman killed FHP trooper on I-95 without warning"

Weather for Friday, Feb. 22 night and into Saturday, Feb. 22

Thumbnail for the video titled "Weather for Friday, Feb. 22 night and into Saturday, Feb. 22"

Phillies arrive in Clearwater for Spring Training

Thumbnail for the video titled "Phillies arrive in Clearwater for Spring Training"

Father shot and killed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Father shot and killed"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss