TENNESSEE JUSTICE CENTER HONORS ABIGAIL WOOD OF CROSSVILLE AS “MOTHER OF THE YEAR”

Abigail Wood, Crossville, Tenn. – For 24 years, Mother’s Day has been a grand celebration at the Tennessee Justice Center (TJC). Every year, TJC honors courageous moms, foster moms, grandmothers, and caregivers who persistently advocate not only for the wellbeing of their own loved ones, but for all Tennesseans from Memphis to Mountain City.

With help from volunteer photographers across the state, TJC provides our honorees with framed family portraits and more as a token of our gratitude for their efforts to make our state better for all Tennesseans. These beautiful photos line the front wall of our office, and their moving stories of love and devotion inspire us all year long.

This year, the Tennessee Justice Center is honoring Abigail Wood as a 2024 Mother of the Year.

The two heart surgeries weren’t working, and four-month-old Landry was dying. Abby Wood and her husband Chase were in despair. Miraculously, through the generosity of another baby’s grieving family and the skill of his doctors and nurses, Landry received a new heart and, with it, the prospect of a full life.

Abby’s and Chase’s joy gave way to terror when TennCare terminated Landry’s coverage. Without TennCare, Landry could not get the anti-rejection medication needed to protect his heart. TennCare said the family had failed to document their income, but Abby had proof that she had already submitted a tax return confirming Landry’s eligibility. She soon found that bureaucracy doesn’t readily yield to facts or reason, however. Repeated calls to TennCare only produced more conflicting information. Two weeks into the nightmare, Landry’s doctor referred her to TJC. Within 48 hours, TJC had Landry’s coverage restored. Abby and Chase can again enjoy “watching our kids grow and become their own individual little people.”

But Abby hasn’t stopped fighting for other children, and neither has TJC. TennCare has cut off over 200,000 Tennessee children and adults over the past year in a process riddled with flaws. That’s why TJC has pursued a class action seeking more safeguards for those, like Landry, whose very lives are on the line.

TJC is privileged to stand with devoted parents like Abby Wood and proud to recognize her as a 2024 Mother of the Year for her dedication to her family’s health and her advocacy for others.

Photo of Abigail Wood and Landry are by John St. Clair.

Read Abigail Wood’s full story and the stories of all our Mothers and Caregivers of the Year by exploring the virtual version of the wall at www.tnjustice.org/cmoty.

Help TJC continue to fight alongside these moms and caregivers by donating at www.tnjustice.org/donate.

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