Local News

Medicaid approved for Smithfield teen in a coma

Posted July 6, 2012

— A Smithfield father fighting a Raleigh hospital to keep legal guardianship of his son has been able to secure Medicaid benefits to cover the teen's treatment for a traumatic brain injury.

Freddie Lempe, 18, has been in a coma at WakeMed since a car wreck in March 2011.

His father, Fred Lempe, says Medicaid coverage for his son was dropped in December when he turned 18.

The hospital has said that the teen was denied coverage because his father failed to file the paperwork.

It wants the court to appoint a guardian for Freddie who would be legally authorized to make all medical decisions.

Fred Lempe has said he's gotten conflicting information from the Johnston County Department of Social Services about what was required.

Calls and emails to WakeMed were not immediately returned Friday afternoon, and it's unclear whether the hospital will pursue its request in the court system.

A hearing is scheduled for July 25.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • wdougherty2 Jul 10, 2012

    For the latest update on Freddie go to his Facebook page

  • james27613 Jul 9, 2012

    No reason for the father not to have the info he needs and get the papers in order, it is July not December.

    Car accident, was he a passenger in another person's car or
    was he hit as pedestrian?

  • westernwake1 Jul 6, 2012

    In the midst of this tragic situation, it is good to see that the father has been able to secure Medicaid benefits to cover his son's treatment.

  • whyalltheproblems Jul 6, 2012


  • muggs Jul 6, 2012

    How these illegals get it is beyond me,but they do,I have sat in the waiting room at my doctors office while they filled out paperwork to be seen,the girl had her card,yet explained she was not vacinated nor was the child,no form of documents required by the doctors office but admitted she was here illegally,how can that be,how did she obtain a medicaid card?

  • girlygirl2 Jul 6, 2012

    When I lived in the Raleigh area, my job as a social worker was to serve as the guardian representative for incompetent adults. I don't know all of the details of this story, but it seems like WakeMed has overstepped their bounds...a lot! If the father is active in this young man's care, then they really ought to be working WITH him, not against him. Shame on them, and particularly their social work staff, for not making that happen.

  • muggs Jul 6, 2012

    Medicaid is a good thing,thats when it is used by American citizans.

  • TriangleMommy Jul 6, 2012

    If I know the system (and I do because I have a daughter with severe disabilities), it wouldn't have mattered if he filed the paperwork. It would have gotten lost or misplaced.
    So glad this young man is getting the medical coverage he needs so he can get the care he needs.

  • Bob Bubbles Jul 6, 2012

    I'm confused. Is Medicaid now a good thing? From reading online comments over the years I thought Medicaid was a very bad thing. Now it sounds like Medicaid is a good thing, at least for this particular family, but the government that runs the program is still bad, right? And Medicaid is a waste for some people, but not for others, right? And we should all hate Medicaid and other government programs until we need them, right? I think I have it now.

  • sunshine1040 Jul 6, 2012

    Goverment is where the problems are medicaid is a goverment program as is SS, medicare,VA, and Tricare. Sure am glad someone is finally helping this young man and his father