Province to Reimburse Family Who Left Saskatchewan for Life-Saving Procedure

The Ministry of Health has approved reimbursement for a life-saving bone-marrow transplant that saved the life of a five year-old Saskatoon boy.

Health Minister Paul Merriman met with the Finn family Monday morning to inform them of the province’s decision. When Conner Finn was four, he was diagnosed with adrenoleukodystrophy ALD, which is a rare condition that damages the membrane that covers the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain.

There isn’t a cure for ALD , but a bone-marrow transplant at an expert center can prevent damage and halt the disease if performed early on.

Finn received the life-saving transplant in Minnesota at the ALD Center of Excellence. Andrew McFadyen, Executive Director of The Isaac Foundation, an advocacy, research and family support organization that specializes in rare diseases says the province will cover the $823,000 cost associated with the procedure.

Health Minister Paul Merriman issued the following statement Monday afternoon.

“On November 15th, I ordered a review of the Conner Finn case. As a result of the review, and through additional discussions with officials from the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, a decision has been made that is satisfactory for the Finn family.

In addition to implementing the recommendations that have already been released from the Ombudsman, the Ministry of Health will also be looking at how to improve our process in the future for similar cases. We will also be creating a Rare Disease Strategy to look at how Saskatchewan can best take care of individuals in similar circumstances.”


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