TennCare for Heather Bridges

  • by: Paige Barton-Cantrell
  • recipient: Governor Phil Bredesen,Rep. Jim Cooper,Rep. Marsha Blackburn,Rep. Charles Michael Sargent ,Rep. Beth Harwell,Rep. Gary Odom,Rep. Moore,Senator Jack Johnson,Senator Henry,Senetor bob Corker, Sen. Douglas HenryRep. Janis Sontany
Heather Bridges has ALS. She is completely quadriplegic that is, she cannot move her arms or legs. She has a little movement in her fingers, which enables her to use a computer. She has a tracheotomy and is on a ventilator part of the time, which breathes for her.

She is totally dependent on others for all aspects of care, including shifting position every two hours to prevent skin breakdown and ulceration, toileting, transfers from bed to chair, and feeding. She cannot speak clearly, and cannot even call for help should something go wrong. In spite of this, she is bright and alert and quite eloquent by computer.

Heather is a widow. She lost her husband in 2007. Her father James Shearon was murdered in a home invasion robbery more than a year ago. 
her only remaining family caregiver is her mother, who is employed at Vanderbilt. Heather's survivor benefits plus the disability benefits put her over the TennCare limit.

She obviously needs care 24 hours a day by someone who is trained to manage a tracheostomy, ventilator, and her other needs.

Heather is requesting nursing care 11 hours a day, 5 days a week. Her mother will assume the rest of her care performing the work of three nurses (113 hours of care per week) plus her own full time job at Vanderbilt. Without this support, either Heather will have to be placed in long-term care  there is only one such facility in Middle Tennessee  or her mother will be forced to quit her job and the family will be completely indigent.

Her need for care and the willingness of her family to assume the major portion of this care are very clear.

Please help us get Heather the help she deserves!!!!

 The more supporters, the better.

Please help Heather Bridges get the nuring support she needs. She has already been through so much.  She is being punished because she is $25 over the TennCare limit.  She should be applauded for her strength and courage. Heather and her mother are both heroes.  If people would just stop and think about what is right.  TennCare pays for indigent women to have multiple children but drops the sick.  What if it was your child and you were in the position of Heather's mother?  What would you do? Heather is not just a petition or a segmant on the news.  She is a daughter, friend, ALS advocate and most of all a survivor!!!!! Please help get Heather the TennCare she deserves.


Heather Bridges has ALS. She is completely quadriplegic%u2014that is, she cannot move her arms or legs. She has a little movement in her fingers, which enables her to use a computer. She has a tracheostomy and is on a ventilator part of the time, which breathes for her.

She is totally dependent on others for all aspects of care, including shifting position every two hours to prevent skin breakdown and ulceration, toileting, transfers from bed to chair, and feeding. She cannot speak clearly, and cannot even call for help should something go wrong. In spite of this, she is bright and alert and quite eloquent by computer.

Both her father and her husband have died in the last few years, and her only remaining family caregiver is her mother, who is employed at Vanderbilt.

She obviously needs care 24 hours a day by someone who is trained to manage a tracheostomy, ventilator, and her other needs.

Heather is requesting nursing care 11 hours a day, 5 days a week. Her mother will assume the rest of her care%u2014performing the work of three nurses (113 hours of care per week) plus her own fulltime job at Vanderbilt. Without this support, either Heather will have to be placed in long-term care%u2014 there is only one such facility in Middle Tennessee%u2014or her mother will be forced to quit her job and the family will be completely indigent.

Her need for care and the willingness of her family to assume the major portion of this care are very clear.
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