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Death in Bridgeport family ignites push for expanded health care access

Days after the death of their loved one, a Bridgeport family is pushing for expanded access to health insurance.

News 12 Staff

Dec 4, 2022, 6:02 PM

Updated 562 days ago

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Days after the death of their loved one, a Bridgeport family is pushing for expanded access to health insurance.  
Fitzgerald "Fiji" Giusti, 58, suffered a heart attack on Thursday inside the Dollar Tree on Huntington Turnpike Thursday, where he had stopped to buy a few items for his 80-year-old mother.  
He died a short time later.  
Giusti's niece Shalinda Flores tells News 12 her uncle used to work for the State of Connecticut, but in recently years, as his mother's health declined, he became her main caregiver.  
Flores says because her uncle was uninsured, he did not seek treatment from a doctor for chest pains.  
Giusti's state health insurance application was finally approved the day before he died.  
"Health insurance shouldn't be a privilege for anyone," Flores says. "Because if my uncle had insurance, he would still be here probably."  
Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Sen. Herron Gaston say they're pushing for Americans to have expanded medical access and streamlining the process so people don't die while waiting for coverage. 
"It's terrible that he only received the benefits the day before he passed away,” said Gaston.   
"We need to extend coverage so that people like Shalinda's uncle can take preventative measures and save life,” said Blumenthal.   
Flores says going forward, she hopes medical care access will be improved and people learn to appreciate the time they have left with loved ones.   
“Always make sure that you are around your family because you never know when it’s the last time you'll ever be with a family member,” she said. 
Giusti's family has a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses.  


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