Reversal: Insurer Will Cover Girl's Obesity Surgery
Alexis Shapiro, 12, suffers from rare ailment
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2014 9:40 AM CST
Alexis Shapiro   (GoFundMe)

(Newser) – The wave of national attention for 12-year-old Alexis Shapiro seems to have changed the mind of her insurer: It will cover a potentially life-saving gastric bypass procedure for her after all, reports NBC News. Alexis is 4-foot-7 but weighs about 200 pounds because of a rare disorder—a complication from brain surgery two years ago—that makes her feel as is she is constantly ravenous. The family has military insurance under TRICARE, but it initially refused to pay for the operation because of Alexis' age.

At that point, national media picked up on the story, and a GoFundMe page for Alexis has raised more than $78,000 to date to help defray costs. All that money may not be necessary now, given that TRICARE informed the family yesterday that the operation would be covered. "I couldn't ask for anything more," says mom Jenny Shapiro. "I'm just so happy." The surgery is expected to take place in a matter of weeks, and the family says any excess donations will go to kids with similar trouble.