Medical Stories – Patient Stories
Annie’s first visit to Health Right was a bit different AND more ‘dramatic’ than most first visits to the clinic. Since Shawnee Hills filed for bankruptcy, she had been going to the emergency rooms for her “mental health” care and prescriptions. But, she had not been able to buy her medications because her wages were only $763/month and her drugs cost her over $500. Annie’s mood swings were terrible when she was off her medications, she has diagnosed with depression and bi-polar disorder. Her stress level was high when she went to work and finally due to her frequent tardiness she was fired.
Another employee told her about Health Right some months back BUT she just hadn’t come into the clinic. Now, without a job, she knew she had to go, but she was so depressed she just went home and slept. The next morning the cold reality of having no money, no food and no medicine hit her hard. She decided she needed help soon, all she could think about was “ending it all”. She parked in the Health Right lot and sat in her old car without any gas and cried. She grabbed a razor blade, slit both wrists, got out of the car and walked into the clinic crying “I can’t take it any more”. Needless to say, everyone was stunned but the staff reacted quickly, called 911, stopped the bleeding and soon Annie was hospitalized.
Annie was stabilized and sent back to Health Right for follow up with a psychiatrist. After therapy and getting her medications regulated Annie was back on track. She stayed at Sojourner’s Shelter for a month or so, got a job and found an apartment. Today, Annie is doing better. She comes to the clinic to see the psychiatrist and to get her medications. She says, “Health Right saved my life that day. I just couldn’t take another thing going wrong. I know I didn’t really want to die but I was so depressed.”
We are pleased Annie is doing better now. Health Right has been her life line!
John traveled to Charleston where he had family years ago. Unfortunately, they had fallen on hard times and were living in a small one bedroom apartment. John ended up at the homeless shelter soon after he arrived. Luckily for John, Health Right and the shelter have worked together for many years. Health Right does a complete physical exam on every resident of Charleston’s shelters. John told the staff he was very tired and didn’t feel well. His lab work showed he had Hepatitis C, a deadly disease that was destroying John’s liver. Within a couple of weeks, John was on medications that will help his body fight the disease.
With the help of Dr. Sandy Elliott, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Roche, CAMC and others, Health Right has an aggressive program to diagnose, treat and support patients with Hepatitis C. Since it began we have treated over 60 patients with Hepatitis C and many are in ‘recovery’ with blood work that shows the medications are working.
John is appreciative that he has a new lease on life and has offered to volunteer at the clinic whenever we need him.