A Denver mother is suing the city after she was unable to fill her son’s much-needed asthma prescription. Zuton Lucero-Mills says her 9-year-old son, Zumante, died after pharmacists refused to fill her son’s much-needed asthma prescription because he wasn’t in their system and wasn’t eligible for Medicaid.
Although Zumante was in fact eligible, a computer glitch prevented pharmacists from doling out his medication. For months Lucero-Mills said she called Denver County Human Services several times a week in 2009 to try to resolve the problem, but her calls went unanswered.
Zumante, who suffered from asthma since birth, regularly took Advair to control his disease. However, after being off of his medication for months while his mother tried to get his benefits restored, his condition worsened.
In July 2009, Zumante told his mother he couldn’t breathe. He fainted and was rushed to the hospital, but died days later.
After dragging their feet for months, the State fixed Zumante’s Medicaid status and paid for his funeral, but Lucero-Mills feels her son’s death was unnecessary and she doesn’t want it to happen to anyone else.
“I want this not to be the story of anyone else’s family,” Lucero-Mills told the Denver Post. “Something has to change.”
She continued: “I think we need to have changes at every level — changes in the computer system, changes in the people that are behind those computers,” she said. “As long as I feel like there is more to do, I’ll do it.”
Lucero-Mills is suing the city, and three former-employees of the Denver Country Human Services for monetary damages and relief for son’s death.
*Photos courtesy of the Denver Post