Gov. Rick Scott will sign waiver to allow Zephyrhills family keep home health care for Selah Clanton

6:15 PM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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Selah Clanton nearly drowned in the Erie Canal last year and now her parents must battle their insurance company and the state.



Zephyrhills, Florida -- 10 News has learned Governor Rick Scott is stepping in to help a Zephyrhills family whose child was seriously injured after falling into the Erie Canal last year.

Jon and Yvonne Clanton adopted their daughter Selah from the Ukraine. She had developmental problems, but now the situation is much more serious. A year ago, Selah suffered severe brain damage after nearly drowning in the Erie Canal. It was a tragic accident when Dad lost control of a stroller. 

"There's times I think we rescued a girl from a mental institution only to lose her in the Erie Canal," Jon told 10 News last month.

The 9-year-old girl now breathes with the help of a tracheostomy tube. Another tube feeds her, and the family is not sure if she can see. 

Since they brought her home from the hospital, nurses have helped care for Selah, like suctioning out the mucous from her airway, and sometimes that care can get complicated and urgent.

"She can go from completely normal to having to call the ambulance in just a few minutes," says Yvonne.

However, the Clanton family's insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield or Florida Blue, didn't want to pay for nurses, saying the family can handle those duties. 

Jon works for the state, so he appealed to the Florida Department of Management Services, which agreed with the insurance company. 

But good news came to the family when they learned Governor Scott overruled the department's decision and will sign a waiver to allow them to keep their home health care for Selah.