Why the Free Medical Clinic is Important
Recently, a couple walked in the door on a Monday afternoon during the time that our volunteers were interviewing new patients with appointments. The wife came to the window and her husband, a large man with gray hair to his shoulders, sat down in the waiting room. She asked if we could help her husband get some medication that he needed and had been out of for 3 days. We asked what the medicine was and she told us 2 insulins that cost over $200 a month. So we began discussing their situation to see if he could possibly qualify to be a patient. The wife was on unemployment and the husband had not worked since January. It turns out the patient was injecting himself 5 times per day and had recently been diagnosed with diabetes in January while in the hospital. We immediately printed out his discharge summary which showed that he was a veteran. This disqualified him as a patient at the Free Medical Clinic so we knew that our program could not help him receive his insulin on an ongoing basis. Without this medication, in a very short time, he would be unconscious or possibly dead without further medical treatment.
After further investigating his insurance situation, we realized he would not be able to receive medication through the VA program for almost 4 weeks. We asked him to give us the drug store's name where he had his insulin prescription so we could make sure he had refills and to see if we had any surplus of samples to provide him insulin until his VA appointment. The 2 insulins were the exact brands that we had a surplus so we were able to give him insulin free of charge until he could get his insurance to pay for it ongoing. He would have to come back that night after a pharmacist filled the prescription that we had received from the drug store. The patient came to the window and asked if he could tell us a story. He said that so many people claim to be Christians but unless we all realized that it's the same cross that we all need to worship, we missed the point of that cross. The point he said was to love like Jesus loved and to be willing to care for someone in need above anything else. He cut out an origami cross for us that displayed the place we all need to meet, the place where we all are the same. He said we had fulfilled that mission in helping him this way. He said he had always worked but could not since his diabetes had gotten so out of control. He said it was hard to come to the clinic and ask for help but that we had made him feel very loved.
That night the patient asked his wife to give him an injection in the waiting room immediately after receiving the insulin because he felt so bad. He was so grateful that he brought a pair of imitation crocs for every volunteer that someone in his church had given him. He stayed until every volunteer that he had seen in the clinic had accepted a pair from him. This gave him a chance to give back to us. God, please bless this man and his wife because he blessed us.
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