YUKON, Okla. (KFOR) – Parents of the most vulnerable Oklahomans are concerned as they face cuts to life-saving medical care provided by the state.

That includes moms like Denise Burns.

Her son Fletcher is the center of her world and will be for the rest of his and her life.

“He’s not going to go to college,” Denise said. “He’s not going to get married. So he’ll be with us.”

Born with multiple health issues, Fletcher requires constant care, even overnight.

Before the pandemic, Denise says SoonerCare helped cover the assistance of a private duty nurse 16 hours a day, five days a week.

During the public health emergency, they and other families were able to get the help every single day.

But now, those hours are being cut.

“It was a phone call, some random Tuesday, that we’re going to reduce our hours. I couldn’t believe it,” said a mom named Christina Kowalczik. “You’re messing with the most fragile people in all of Oklahoma.”

Kowalczik says the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is trying to reduce her 4-year-old son Jeremy’s private nursing hours from 16 hours per day to 12.

“But we’re hoping to convince them to reconsider because during the time they decided to make the cut, my son actually got markedly worse,” Kowalczik said. 

She’s currently in the appeals process, along with other families, who feel the Oklahoma Health Care Authority needs to take a closer look at what their children really need.

“These are services that are ordered by physicians in Oklahoma that have cared for my children, and these decisions are being made by people that have never met them,” said mom Rachel Richardson. 

These families say it would cost the state more if the children were in the hospital rather than receiving this at home care.

“Our governor and our legislators are wanting to be known as being pro-life and I think it’s important that they realize pro-life is now too. It’s not just until birth,” Richardson said. “That’s not being pro-life when we have children here that require the medical care and are being denied.”

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority sent News 4 following statement:

“Due to the Public Health Emergency, children receiving private duty nursing experienced no denials or reductions in services. Now that the end of the PHE is nearing, OHCA has received guidance from CMS to reinstate how we normally review our practices. Any member whose services are denied or reduced has a right to appeal with service continuation pending approval.”