A Bakersfield man who was battling his insurance company for a special bed will finally get a comfortable place to rest, thanks to a generous act that came in response to an I-Team investigation.
Donovan Dixon says his nights have been excruciating since he survived a fiery crash on the 710 Freeway in South Los Angeles in October 2013. The fuel truck he was driving hit debris and jackknifed, leaving the cab dangling off an overpass 100 feet in the air.
When the wreck burst into flames, Dixon jumped 70 feet to escape, leaving him with devastating injuries and burns on over 60 percent of his body.
“He had a fractured pelvis, fractured sacrum, he had surgery, he lost part of his intestines, and he had kidney failure,” Dixon’s attorney Keith More said.
“When I’m in bed,” Dixon said, “it’s pain.”
Insurance company AIG has been paying for Dixon’s ongoing medical bills and rehabilitation under workers’ compensation, but refused his claim for an adjustable, hospital-style bed recommended by his physician.
When asked by the I-Team about the decision to deny the claim, an AIG spokesman declined to comment on the specifics of Dixon's case, but sent a statement saying the carrier “is obligated to follow California’s workers’ compensation laws and carefully considers the decisions of independent doctors when it comes to questions about the medical necessity of treatments.”
After NBC4 first aired Dixon’s story in April, viewers flooded the I-Team with concerned phone calls and emails.
One call came from Ann Mowrey, a spokewoman for Easy Rest Adjustable Sleep Systems of Baltimore, Maryland.
“One of our local sales representatives saw your program that night and saw the segment you did on Mr. Dixon,” Mowrey said. “We were very moved by his story.“
Easy Rest, which regularly donates beds to injured veterans and to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, reached out to Dixon, offering to deliver the model he needs, free of charge.
“Everybody agreed we definitely need to step up and help this man,” said Mowrey, who traveled from Maryland herself to deliver the bed to Dixon’s Bakersfield home.
The I-Team waited with Dixon as the Easy Rest truck arrived, and the crew assembled the much-anticipated gift.
“Ah, man. This is heaven!” Dixon said, settling into his new bed for the first time.
“I’ve said thank you a lot of times and God is good,” Dixon said. “God is good every day and God made this happen.”