After Insurance Denied His Surgery, Strangers Pay For It; Now Looks Like A Different Person

Updated January 18, 2018

With the advent of the internet, strangers have been able to connect with people in need faster than ever before. With fundraising websites like GoFundMe and YouCaring, people can contribute to good causes and help people get through life’s challenges. Money raised allows people to pay for expensive surgeries or even get off the street. Strangers are helping more people than ever before and in an excellent way. But one Milwaukee man’s luck was running out. 13 years ago he went to the barber for a trim and a shave. During the routine visit, the barber nicked him on both sides of his face. While this man, Keith Crowell, knew better than to go to that barber again, his body wouldn’t let him forget the encounter. And soon he learned that the razor wounds would not heal.

Soon the cuts turned into keloids, which are masses of skin. And as they continued to grow and grow, they eventually covered Keith’s neck and ears, making it difficult for him to navigate the world around him.

Eventually, the local news picked up Keith’s story. And then it made its way online. When people all over the nation and the world saw what Keith was suffering from – and learned how his insurance refused to pay for it – they began contributing money to help him remove this mass of skin that was interfering with his life.

Over the years, Keith did try to deal with the problem. He had two surgeries to remove a total of 40 pounds of extra skin. But they did not fix this problem. And it didn’t take long for the keloids to return.

They had grown so large that he developed trouble hearing and swallowing. They also interfered with how he slept at night.

His insurance company scoffed at paying the bill to remove the enormous tumor, claiming that it was only a cosmetic procedure.

When Keith’s story reached the masses, strangers donated more than $25,000 to help pay for the surgery. Then a New York plastic surgeon removed the masses in phases to increase the chances of getting rid of the keloids for good. The surgeon started with one side of Keith’s head and then the other.

After the tumors were removed, the surgeon then used radiation to shrink the growths. And then a few months later, he removed them for good.

Keith’s specialists are confident her keloids will never return. They claim there is only a 4 percent chance they will come back this time – unlike his previous operations, which failed.

Keith, meanwhile, wants to thank the strangers who came together to help him change his life around.

“I feel a lot lighter. It’s a lot of weight off my shoulders. I’m energetic. I feel more of myself. I feel more alive,” Keith said.

Now Keith can return to his job as a casino security guard. And the 56-year-old man feels confident to share his happy smile with every customer who walks in the door. Thanks to Good Samaritans, Keith was able to remove the tumors despite being denied by the insurance company.