Medicaid approves baby Jax for treatment

JOHNSTOWN, NY. – Baby Jax fusses a little while sitting in his mother's lap. Six-month-old Jackson Baldwin or “Jax” for short, may not realize his life is about to change but Jessica Valik says she could not be happier.

“I was speechless, I hang up, I jumped up and down and said “yes!”

Vallik received first an e-mail from her doctor, and then a call from the New York State Department of Health letting her know that her son was approved for a surgery in Minnesota for his rare condition Friday.

Jax has Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa which means his skin blisters and falls off at the slightest touch.

“Today has been a dream,” Valik said.

The woman, who made Jessica's “dream” come true, is Doctor Joanne Porter.

“Today all the paperwork was filed; and the approval was fairly immediate,” Porter said.

Porter works at Albany Medical Center and treats Jax's pain. She spent the past 24 hours on the phone negotiating with both Minnesota and Medicaid to get Jax approved for the $150,000 bone marrow transplant.

“My hope is, a bone marrow transplant will help supply the missing matrix protein that his little skin cells don't have,” Porter said.

Though Medicaid approved Jax for the surgery, Porter says there's a lot of risks as he goes through chemotherapy and his body becomes more susceptible to infection.

“These babies are at great risk for dying from infection,” Porter said.

Regardless, Valik says she's staying optimistic.

“I look forward to birthday cake on his first birthday; I look forward to running with him, him playing with other babies,” Valik said. “Our prayers have been answered.”

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