Home | National | Alexis Shapiro, 12, needs gastric bypass surgery to keep her from death

Alexis Shapiro, 12, needs gastric bypass surgery to keep her from death

By
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
  • Alexis Shapiro, 12,  feels like she is constantly starving due to the fact that her surgery to remove a benign tumor caused damage to her hypothalamus, instigating the development of hypothalamic obesity
  • She is home-schooled, has no friends, and has told doctors 'she wants to die'
  • Her mother Jenny Shapiro is afraid her daughter will 'eat herself to death'
  • Gastric bypass surgery will help her lose weight and may even help her brain from believing it is starving
  • She is on a restricted diet of between 900-1,400 calories a day and has a strict exercise regimen

By Alexandra Klausner

PUBLISHED: 12:55 EST, 28 December 2013 | UPDATED: 13:56 EST, 28 December 2013

0

View
comments

One 12-year-old girl from Texas had brain tumor surgery that caused her to become obese and she may die if she doesn't undergo an immediate medical procedure.

Gastric bypass surgery is the only procedure that can help her condition but the U.S. military, her family's insurance provider, will not pay for the $50,000 operation because 'she's too young.'

Alexis Shapiro is 4 foot 7 and weighs almost 200 pounds. Alexis feels like she is constantly starving due to the fact that her surgery to remove a benign tumor caused damage to her hypothalamus, instigating the development of hypothalamic obesity.

Alexis Shapiro is obese but feels like she's starving and needs gastric bypass surgery in order to survive

Alexis Shapiro is obese but feels like she's starving and needs gastric bypass surgery in order to survive

Alexis is on a restricted diet of 900 to 1,400 calories per day but despite controlling her food intake, she keep's gaining weight.

'Our reviewers have denied your request for Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass,' reads the rejection notice sent from TRICARE earlier this month.

Alexis' parents and doctors are asking that TRICARE reconsider their decision in order to save Alexis' life.

NBC news reports that Alexis is gaining two pounds per week. Alexis has been hospitalized for a kidney infection and she has developed type 2 diabetes and requires nightly insulin injections.

Alexis' pediatric obesity doctor, Dr. Thomas H. Inge of Cincinnati, believes that surgery is the only way to keep Alexis from gaining more weight which could top 400 pounds.

Gastric bypass surgery will do more that destroy the weight, it can also tell her brain that she is not starving and she may be able to curb her painful appetite.

After her surgery, Alex's parents had to take extreme measures to keep their daughter from eating herself to death.

'She’s always hungry,' her father Ian Shapiro said. 'In the past, we’ve had to padlock the cupboard.'

Two years ago after developing Craniopharyngioma , a rare type of brain tumor that grows next to the pituitary gland, Alexis had surgery to have it removed.

This is Alexis before she had brain surgery that caused her to develop hypothalamic obesity after doing damage to her hypothalamus

This is Alexis before she had brain surgery that caused her to develop hypothalamic obesity after doing damage to her hypothalamus

More than half of children with this specific form of tumor experience similar post-operative symptoms to Alexis.

'I think it is disappointing that they cannot see the facts of this case,' said Inge, of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

'There is no evidence that doing nothing would be in this child’s best interests,' he continued.

According to a spokesperson for TRICARE said that gastric bypass and weight loss services are only covered of the patient is or over and has full bone growth.

'In general, our Managed Care Support Contractors are required to approve or deny coverage based on TRICARE policy,' spokesman Austin Camacho said in an email to NBC News. 'We have an appeals process in place specifically designed to give our medical professionals the opportunity to examine the details of any special cases when coverage is denied,' said the insurance company.

Alexis may be a child, but she wears a women's size 1x or 2x and she goes up a size every month. When asked by psycologists about how she is coping with her condition, she has told them she 'wants to die.'

If Alexis gets the surgery she may be able to lead a normal life again and keep off the weight

If Alexis gets the surgery she may be able to lead a normal life again and keep off the weight

'She doesn’t have any friends or anything like that,'  her mother Jenny Shapiro said. 'It’s so sad, because she remembers what it was like before.'

Alexis is in constant pain and has begun homeschooling because she is afraid of going out in public.

Doctor's believe that if Alexis has Bypass surgery, she may have a chance of leading a normal life.

Kelsie Blackwell of Indianapolis, Indiana,21, had a successful bypass surgery when she was 18 that helped her lose 100 pounds after being diagnosed with hypothalamic obesity.

Unlike Alexis, Blackwell's surgery was covered by insurance.

Alexis' parents have begun to investigate other ways to raise money for their daughter's surgery. They created a Gofundme.com account to raise enough money to cover her daughter's lifelong health costs.

'These kids will literally eat themselves to death,' Jenny Shapiro said.

'That’s what I’m scared of.'

Read more:

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

MOST READ NEWS

 

 
 

Colorado News

Get the latest Colorado news, sports, weather, entertainment, business & political news and more from Colorado Newsday.
 
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Rate this article

0
 
 

Photo Galleries

PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity Awkward family photos 
 
UPDATED: Faces of Meth PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter

More galleries ››

 
 
 
  1. Drunk tractor driver decapitates three people in head-on crash (1.50)

  2. Spoiled’ teen takes parents to court (1.00)

  3. BREAKING NEWS: RAF jets 'intercepting Latvian cargo plane' cause huge sonic boom over Kent (1.00)

  4. Terms of Service (0)

  5. Colorado Newsday Privacy Policy (0)

  6. Kim Kardashian denied access to Vanity Fair party (0)

  7. Russian troops threaten to shoot Ukrainian soldiers in tense stand-off (0)

  8. Boxer vows to fight on – after 51st defeat in row (0)

  9. Forbes rich list names world’s youngest billionaires (0)

  10. Pregnant woman drives kids into ocean in Florida (0)

  11. Oprah Winfrey tells Lindsay Lohan to ‘cut the bull****’ in trailer for new reality show Lindsay (0)

  12. Denver Man Michael McGinley threatened to kill wife in phone call at DA’s office (0)

  13. Couple stole little girl's iPod in Aurora (0)

  14. Former director of Breckenridge Film Festival Dawna Foxx given 5 years for embezzling $300K (0)

  15. Knee injury to sideline Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan 6-8 weeks (0)

  16. What your PERSONALITY says about your health: Being hardworking and curious protects against disease - but anxious and moody people suffer more ill health (0)

  17. North Korea in bid to avoid probe through first UN talks in 10 years  (0)

  18. Father charged with manslaughter for shooting dead man hiding in daughter's bedroom  (0)

  19. Portraits of Civil War soldiers maimed on American battlefields (0)

  20. Nurse with no Ebola symptoms who is being told to stay quarantined at home in Maine insists she will not be bullied (0)

  21. Marriott Hotels UK come up with the 'perfect' hotel room (0)

  22. Adolf Hitler's personal copy of Mein Kampf expected to fetch £62,000 as it goes under the hammer  (0)

  23. Massachusetts child rapist Gregory Lewis arrested in New York (0)

  24. Amanda Bynes to remain in psychiatric hold for 30 more days (0)

  25. John Carter Cash arrested in underwear at Newfoundland airport (0)

  26. Daniel Radcliffe raps 'Alphabet Aerobics' on 'Tonight Show' (0)

  27. Jane Lynch, wife Lara Embry finalize divorce (0)

  28. Meet the woman who was blind from the age of 11... but got her sight back when she hit her head on a COFFEE TABLE (0)

  29. Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett to renew wedding vows (0)

  30. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas buy Bedford colonial for $11.25M (0)

  31. Kate Moss' sister Lottie stars in new Red Valentino campaign (0)

  32. Ellen DeGeneres denies canceling charity appearance over fight (0)

  33. How KFC cook their Original Recipe chicken revealed (0)

  34. PIERS MORGAN: Selfless Ebola Nurse Kaci is actually utterly selfish. Three weeks in quarantine won't kill her and it might just save someone's life  (0)

  35. British spies can go through Americans' telephone calls and emails without a warrant reveals legal challenge in the UK  (0)

  36. Obama administration plans to rush non-Americans into the US for Ebola treatment (0)

  37. JetBlue passenger flying in from Jamaica arrested for hiding cocaine in her privates (0)

  38. Time-lapse video shows a brace's impact on crooked teeth over 18 months (0)

  39. Funeral service for legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee begins at National Cathedral (0)

  40. My $7m-a-year investment banker husband forced me to have sex with drug firm boss in foursome at the Ritz after cocaine binge, claims his wife (0)

  41. North Korean officials executed 'for watching South Korean TV soap operas' (0)

  42. Bruce Jenner steps out with pink fingernails (0)

  43. Cobie Smulders' second pregnancy 'coming along well' (0)

  44. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler to co-host Golden Globes for the 'last time' in 2015 (0)

  45. Ashanti, Kim Coates, Holly Deveaux to star in next month's 'Mutant World' (0)

  46. The bare bones of a Ferrari revealed: Photographer X-rays classic supercar to strip it back to its essential elements (0)

  47. How a $1,000-an-hour escort rose to the top 1% of her field (0)

  48. Artist Alejandro Almaraz compiles headshots of global leaders over generations (0)

  49. Spooky photos of 1930s séance show ghosts hovering over group (0)

  50. Halloween IS evil, says Vatican, and should be replaced with HOLYWEEN (0)