"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be alive"
When Sandra Seamon "aged out" of her parent's medical insurance coverage, and her new job did not provide benefits, Sandra suddenly found herself without health insurance.
Fortunately, a coworker told her about Saint Vincent Clinic and in 2002 Sandra began visiting the clinic for regular check-ups and acute care.
In 2007 Sandra noticed what she thought was a spider bite on her back. A few days later the spot was bigger. She made an appointment to see Dr. Linda Campbell at Saint Vincent Clinic. After a week of observation, Sandra was referred for a biopsy.
The biopsy revealed that the "spider bite" was possibly something more ominous. A CT scan was immediately ordered. The scan showed that the mass was malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, a type of cancer. Dr. Campbell counseled Sandra on the implications of the malignancy and helped her learn about this type of cancer. While not immediately life-threatening, the tumor needed to be removed. Dr. Campbell then located a surgeon to remove the tumor. The surgery was successful and there has been no re-occurrence. Throughout the recovery period, Dr. Campbell monitored Sandra and provided follow-up examinations. Sandra received reassurance and personal care that allowed her to continue to work during this stressful period.
Sandra is grateful to those involved in her diagnosis, treatment and recovery. "I believe if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be alive" she says. "I really appreciate everyone who contributes to the clinic, because otherwise people like me wouldn't have any health care. The clinic is a regular doctor's office and helps out a lot."
Saint Vincent Clinic Makes It Possible For Mother to Care for Her Sons AND Herself
Linda, a patient at Saint Vincent Clinic, is a good mom in a challenging situation. Caring for her two special-needs sons has long been Linda’s #1 priority, even above taking care of her own health. She felt sick for a very long time before coming to the clinic. While she tried to attribute her symptoms to being stressed and tired from caring for her sons, in the back of her mind she suspected it was something more.
With no insurance, Linda ignored her symptoms. When she could no longer take the stress of not knowing what was wrong with her, Linda called the clinic, completed paperwork and scheduled her first appointment – intake exam and physical.
Test results confirmed Linda’s hunch that she has diabetes. She also learned she has high blood pressure. In her first month at the clinic, Linda’s care team helped her get medication through the clinic’s Pharmacy Assistance Program. Like many people, Linda feared getting a diagnosis because she knew she couldn’t afford medication or treatment. After coming to Saint Vincent Clinic, Linda learned that help getting her medications is available through the clinic.
Last year, the Pharmacy Assistance Program secured more than $2.1 million worth of life-saving prescription medication for clinic patients like Linda…medication that they otherwise would have gone without.
Linda’s job is to take care of her family. At the clinic, she’s found an extension of that family whose job it is to take care of her, making it possible for her to continue to be there for her sons.
It Takes a Lot of Courage to Ask for Help
Meet Pat and Hank Schmoldt, typical patients of Caritas Clinics. Pat and Hank first came to Saint Vincent Clinic after he lost his job and insurance. Both have diabetes and high cholesterol, Hank has heart disease and Pat has high blood pressure. Pat and Hank did not want to come to the clinic; they resisted asking for or accepting help. But, with no insurance and their medications running out, as Hank said, “It got to the point where it was literally do or die.”
Pat and Hank love the clinic and think the staff is terrific. They have especially high praise for Delores Woodard, ARNP. Hank credits her with changing his life, “Delores got me to make changes that other doctors couldn’t. With her help, I lost sixty pounds! She is the first person to really explain how diabetes works and that I was headed toward needing insulin shots.” Pat teases Hank that she is tired of downsizing his pants, to which he responds that at least the smaller ones cost less.
Pat and Hank are just two of the 3,299 people helped through your support of Saint Vincent and Duchesne Clinics last year. While Pat and Hank are each unique children of God, much of their story is all too common. People come to the clinic sick, desperate and afraid, and they are treated with compassion and respect. By treating their medical conditions, we help those who have stumbled through lay-off or other losses get back on their feet.