MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A Tennessee state agency had a change of heart after they denied potentially life-saving group therapy for a Cordova child with an unusual disorder.
We first told you about the story last week. The child is underweight and stopped growing because he suffers from a disorder that makes it difficult to eat. His family fought to get him the treatment he needs, but didn't see real progress until ABC 24 News got involved.
All the Kopacko's wanted was a fighting chance. Now they have it.
"When you work that hard at something for your child that you know could help them, the reward for getting it is amazing," said mother Sarah Kopacko. "Yesterday we met with TEIS to revise the individual family service plan. The agreement was that we would add feeding group once a week."
The feeding group had been denied by TEIS for her son, Jesse Kopacko, for the past year. For Sarah, only one word describes what it's like trying to get him to eat. "Painstaking," she said.
As a result, Jesse is several pounds underweight and underdeveloped, according to his growth charts.
TEIS told the Kopacko's Jesse could not join the feeding group because he did not have mental or physical impairments, so the he was stuck with in home therapy. It didn't help.
The change of heart could not have come at a better time. The family's doctor said if Jesse did not gain enough weight in a month, he would have to undergo surgery and be fed through a tube like his older brother.
Now, Sarah said, "Maybe we can at least extend the time that we have before he has to get the tube, or maybe even avoid it all together if the feeding group works really well for him."
It likely will. Jesse responded well during a test run with the group a few months ago. Now he'll be in it for good.
"Just to know that we have hope now for him to be able to make progress, there's no words to really describe it," Sarah said.
Jesse will start group therapy next week.
We reached out to TEIS for a comment, but no one responded by the time our story aired.