A North Carolina pastor who claims she’s suffering from a chronic pain condition is being sued by her insurer after she was spotted in photos playing Skee-Ball and gleefully going down an inflatable slide.
Cynthia McCullough, of Charlotte, told her insurer that she could not bathe or dress due to discomfort and complications from complex regional pain syndrome, a persistent condition typically affecting one limb after an injury. As such, McCullough said she needed constant home care, the Charlotte Observer reports, citing a lawsuit filed by New York Life in federal court in Charlotte on Friday.
Since 2010, McCullough has received roughly $389,500 through her comprehensive long-term care insurance policy, but now New York Life wants those funds back after McCullough was seen in Facebook photos going down a slide, playing Skee-Ball and frolicking alongside children at an arcade. The lawsuit also claims that McCullough had no problem loading her SUV with objects while the insurer conducted surveillance in late December 2016 and early January 2017.
McCullough also drove 50 miles from Charlotte to a church in Rutherfordton, where she apparently serves as a pastor, according to the lawsuit.
McCullough was identified as the pastor of St. John AME Zion Church in Rutherfordton by Rutherford Weekly in August, but parishioners told the Charlotte Observer that the church has had a new pastor in place since last fall.
The pastor was also spotted during a 15-day period last year driving herself to various locations, including a doctor’s office, a bank, restaurants and a gas station, where she pumped her own gas, according to the lawsuit.
In 2017, when New York Life informed McCullough that it was stopping her payments, McCullough appealed and claimed her disease was “severe and debilitating,” according to the lawsuit.
“I have no comment,” McCullough told The Post when reached by phone early Monday.
Calls seeking comment from church officials were not immediately returned.
Complex regional pain syndrome is more common in women, but can occur in anyone at any age. Patients describe prolonged severe pain as the key symptom, often a “burning” sensation in the affected limbs, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In more than 90 percent of cases, the condition is caused by trauma or injury such as fractures, sprains or soft tissue wounds.
Source: NY Post (Joshua Rhett Miller)
Photo Credit: St. John AME Zion Church/Facebook
Photo Credit: Medscape
Photo Credit: NY Post