Grieving mother pushes for change after losing son
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - On Thursday, a Chandler teenager named Jacob would have turned 16 years old. His mother is now pushing for changes that she believes could have saved her son's life.
At 9-years-old, Jacob found his passion.
"Hey guys, it's the Admack here," he said in a YouTube video. "I look forward to Mondays and seeing if anyone liked my videos."
People did with more than 200 subscribers on his YouTube channel, where for six years he posted hundreds of videos made in his studio in his bedroom. A bedroom that's now a place for his grieving mother to find peace.
"I feel him here... I feel him a lot of places, but there are times I can come in here and I can smell him, so in that sense, I feel a connection with him," Denise said.
On Denise's birthday in January, she found 15-year-old Jacob had taken his life after years of battling depression, and two suicide attempts, with his last coming months just before he died.
"I feel like had the second time we had admitted him... had they really kept him until they could see the effect the medication was having whether it was working or whether it wasn't working, I would have had my son," she said.
In Arizona, insurance companies make the final decision on how many days they will cover hospitalization. For Jacob, it was five and his mother thinks it should have been at least 60.
"I know for some people that sounds like a lot, but if you think about the amount of time it takes anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication to work, it's six-to-eight-weeks minimum," she said.
So Denise started a change.org petition to prevent insurance companies from limiting coverage for mental illness, which allows people to be hospitalized as long as they need it.
"I feel we owe it to our kids," she said. "Money should not be an issue here. It's about saving our kid's lives."