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“It can be devastating:” Barber visit leaves man with life-altering condition; insurance won’t cover treatment

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MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man is living with a life-altering condition that's become debilitating, and without the financial means to get a procedure he desperately needs.

Keith Crowell said he feels a sense of belonging at Hampton Avenue Church of Christ.

"My church family here, we love each other," Crowell said. "Without them, I would have been more depressed. I would have been isolated more. My church family gives me that spiritual uplifting I so much needed."

Crowell developed "keloids" on his skin about 12 years ago.

Keith Crowell

Keith Crowell

"I had a bad reaction when I went to a barber and he gave me shave and nicked me on both sides," Crowell said.

The nicks didn't heal. Instead, mounds of skin grew on his face and neck.

"It can be devastating. Sometimes I feel real bad," Crowell said.

He has had two surgeries -- each removing nearly 40 pounds of flesh, but those operations proved unsuccessful, as the growths returned -- larger.

"I want to be like, a normal person," Crowell said.

He now has that opportunity, as he has located a specialist to help with his situation.

"There`s a doctor in New York that can solve my solution. He has a 96% rate that he can resolve my issue and I love those odds," Crowell said.

Keith Crowell

Keith Crowell

Crowell said he's ready to take the chance, hopeful that his physical and emotional pain will come to an end.

"I use baby oil to minimize the discomfort. I use simple everything, and I clean it every night with peroxide," Crowell said.

Despite sleepless nights, and difficulty swallowing and hearing properly as a result of the keloids, Crowell said his insurance won't cover the cost of the procedure in New York.

"They rejected my claim saying it was cosmetic surgery. I feel it`s not cosmetic. This is my livelihood. This is my life right here," Crowell said.

Crowell said he's looking to the Lord for hope, and has faith that his life will soon change for the better.

Keith Crowell

Keith Crowell

A account has been set up to help Crowell raise money for airfare, lodging, surgery and after-care.

CLICK HERE to make a donation.


  • Insurance Company is wrong

    The Insurance Company should be named, ( publicly ) and put on the spot for not covering. Maybe that would put pressure on them to step up and cover this surgery. Best of luck to you.

    • Cat Matty

      You are so right. The problem with many of these people is fear or lack of knowledge. They take the easy way out and think they can prey away. Praying and singing sons is a lot eaiser than exercising ones legal rights due to the stress level that comes with that. They don’t seem to understand that the law in many cases are on their side. They don’t seem to understand that many problems can be solved politically. Personally, I would expose the Insurance company or something there of. Also his Dr. is falling short. He should write this up as detrimental to his patients health. With that being said , Fight frist , sing songs, pray and eat sunday church dinner later. Thanks

  • Tired of it

    Maybe the church he has been paying his tides to for the last 12 years should help out. Isn’t that what church is for to help those who can’t. I bet the pastor has a brand new car paid for with Keith 12 years of tides and offering. The church he goes to should be ashamed. That’s the problem we got all these churches that only help themselves. Just SAD…

  • Jason

    He’s a good man with a good heart. He was a former coworker of mine. The insurance company is looking at this case all wrong. I’ll keep Keith in my prayers.

  • Julia Gehrig

    I would have liked to see FOX6 contact the insurance carrier or at least advocate on behalf of this man. Injury can cause the condition but it is also something genetic. How about a follow up with the insurance carrier, and the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance? It’s better to report a story, identify the problem, and educate the viewers on solutions. A “Go Fund Me” page, only says it’s OK for insurance carriers to bypass their responsibility and let private citizens fund services. Please Ms. Derica Williams follow this story to the end and cover all angles. We the viewers will pray that Mr. Crowell with proper treatment can overcome this condition and return to a normal life.

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