When Tucker Varns was 3 days old his parents rushed him to the emergency room. After hours of tests in their hometown in South Dakota, they found out that Tucker was born without his lower left ventricle of his heart. He had his first heart surgery when he was 11 days old, and since then he has had 11 surgeries, including a full heart transplant when he was 21. Now this family are leading the way and sharing their story to expand Medicaid in South Dakota.
hero_image_alt_text===The Varns Family
thumbnail_alt_text===The Varns Family
Tucker was called a “million-dollar baby” by some of his doctors, to demonstrate how much he has been through and the cost of it. Medicaid was there for the Varns family, during the early days which was the only way that these procedures and life saving treatment was available.
Tucker is 22 years old, when he turns 26 he will no longer be able to be on his parent’s health insurance, and will not be able to afford his own. Tucker has been a pet lover from day 1 and has even started going to school to become a pet groomer. He would love to work full-time but that might not be possible due to his health. If he is able, he would most likely be like the tens of thousands of other South Dakotans that make too much for Medicaid but not enough to afford it themselves.
The Varns family are sharing their story and working with the American Heart Association and partners to make sure that South Dakota votes “Yes” on Amendment D this November!