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What she’s needed, she’s gotten,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords’ chief of staff, who confirmed to msnbc.com that Giffords’ care after the Jan. 8 attack that killed six and injured 13 will be treated as a workplace injury.
But 284 miles away, in Anna, Texas, another gunshot brain injury victim has not been so fortunate.
Steven Jones, 18, has struggled to access rehabilitation care for four years, ever since he was shot in the face in 2006 by a neighbor boy messing around with a 9-millimeter handgun.
The bullet left Steven blind in his right eye, deaf in his right ear, with little function in his left arm and hand and difficulty walking. Now 18, he still has a 4-inch hole in his skull. His IQ dropped from 121 to 81 after doctors had to remove 40 percent of his brain, said his father, Randy Jones.
Steven has received some high-quality therapy, thanks to charity, at Pate Rehabilitation, a specialized brain injury center that normally charges up to $1,000 a day. The bulk of his care, however, has been provided by state Medicaid and other providers, whose resources — and expertise — were limited.
Two-thirds sent home with no further care
“They give you what you get,” said Randy Jones, 55, a high school history teacher and football coach who adopted Steven as a toddler along with his sister, Chely, now 14, from foster care. “Some of the rehab we did was whatever we could. It’s like going to a restaurant. If you have $5, this is what you can order for $5.”