Military insurer reconsiders denying obesity surgery for Texas girl

Alex Shapiro

Alex Shapiro

U.S. military health insurance officials are thinking twice about denying weight-loss surgery to a 12-year-old Texas girl with a rare medical condition that has left her morbidly obese.

Meanwhile, supporters of Alexis Shapiro of Cibolo, Texas, have donated at least $78,000 to pay for the potentially life-saving surgery — money that her mother said will go to help other ill children if the government comes through.

“We have been hearing from other people who were in our situation,” said Jenny Shapiro. “I hope people are happy with what we can do with it.”

Officials with TRICARE, which provides insurance for Alexis’ father, Ian Shapiro, an Air Force veteran, said Thursday that they’re reviewing the situation. Alexis has gained more than 140 pounds in the two years since brain surgery triggered hypothalamic obesity and hyperphagia, conditions that pack on weight but leave the child feeling like she’s starving.


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