“This was the first time I have ever had to ask for help.” That is what one clinic patient, whom we will call “Marie” for anonymity, told us recently about her experience at our clinic. We hear that from many of our clients.
Marie became sick two of years ago and had to quit her job. She no longer had insurance, but was able to start seeing Dr. Elizabeth Campbell, Medical Director, at our Open Door Clinic.
“If I were to pay someone, they wouldn’t take care of me this well,” Marie says.
Without work and in poor health, Marie says she considered suicide. “I thought no one cared anymore, but Dr. Campbell put me on medicine that took away those thoughts,” she says while fighting back tears.
“They are so kind. It made the difference between life and death for me. If it wasn’t for Dr. Campbell… you can’t imagine,” she adds.
Marie says since she’s been coming to the clinic at UMWC, her illness has turned around. “My body is coming back.”
She also credits the nutritious food she was able to get from our food pantry. “It was not just the medicine I received, but the nutrition which helped tremendously. I don’t feel food insecure anymore,” she says.
Sometime in March, Marie believes she contracted COVID-19. Testing was not widespread enough at the time for her to get one, but Dr. Campbell called to check on her frequently.
“It’s like they are a family. Always there if I need them. There’s no judgement.”
Marie recovered from what was believed to be COVID-19 and says she is looking forward to being able to get her groceries from the pantry now that she is mobile again.
“One day I will get back on my feet and I want to volunteer at Urban Ministries of Wake County.”
Many of our clinic patients are at high-risk of COVID-19 due to several factors. We have partnered with UNC Health and NeighborHealth to bring free mobile testing to our building for this vulnerable population. We have pivoted our operations to provide safe care for patients and providers. We know that we cannot do this work without the support of our community and we thank you for that!