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Sunday, December 25, 2005

PHILADELPHIA, Oct 9, 2004 (U.S. Newswire via COMTEX)

Vienna, Va., resident and reconstructive patient Tina Driskell is being honored today with the Patients of Courage: Triumph Over Adversity award from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) at its Plastic Surgery 2004 scientific meeting in Philadelphia. Driskell, who successfully fought her insurance company to cover the surgeries, is being recognized as an inspirational role model for others facing physical trauma.

"The Patients of Courage program honors reconstructive plastic surgery patients who have gone through great trials and tribulations to sustain their lives," said ASPS President Rod Rohrich, MD. "The reconstructive patients honored today are an inspiration to all who are fortunate enough to know them, and we thank them for demonstrating to us how we can all make a difference."

When the five-month-old niece of a friend became extremely sick and needed liver tissue to survive, Tina Driskell did not hesitate to donate part of her liver. Two years later, however, she developed an aggressive tumor on the scar from her surgery. Although surgeons were able to remove the tumor, they also had to remove a large portion of her abdominal wall, leaving Driskell with a severe deformity.

"When I initially spoke with a representative from my insurance company, she said the company would pay for the multiple reconstructive surgeries required to get me back to normal," said Driskell. "However, when I submitted my insurance forms, the company denied them, stating the surgeries were for cosmetic reasons only."

After the first denial from her health insurance company, Driskell began working her carrier's appeal system. Her reconstructive plastic surgeon, Navin Singh, MD of Baltimore, also joined her plight, writing letters to the company. Six months and two additional denials later, Driskell finally won approval from her insurance carrier.

"I would tell anyone who is up against their insurance company to be persistent, never take no for an answer and make the appeals process work for them," commented Driskell. "Insurance carriers can appear big and scary. But always remember that you have the power to find other avenues and make things happen."

"Amazingly, Tina was never bitter about her situation. She is a kind soul who met this adversity with the same panache she has in every aspect of her being," said Dr. Singh. "She is an inspiration to us all."

For referrals to plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and to learn more about reconstructive and cosmetic , call ASPS at 888-4-PLASTIC (888- 475-2784) or visit http://www.plasticsurgery.org.

ASPS is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world and the foremost authority on cosmetic and reconstructive . With nearly 5,000 members, more than any other organization, ASPS is the definitive voice of the specialty. Viewed throughout the world as the pinnacle of information for new techniques, advances and trends, the society represents 94 percent of all the board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S. Ninety-four percent of all ASPS members perform cosmetic and 89 percent of all ASPS members perform reconstructive . ASPS, founded in 1931, represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

http://www.usnewswire.com

CONTACT:          LaSandra Cooper or Brian Hugins, 847-228-9900 
or media@plasticsurgery.org,
both of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Copyright (C) 2004, U.S. Newswire

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