Gary A. loves to read books. He likes alternative history novels – stories that entertain what would have happened if history was changed. At Duchesne, we can’t help but wonder: What if Gary hadn’t come to our clinic last October?
Gary is a soft-spoken man in his early 50s who bat tled high blood pressure for the last 15 years and watched his condition worsen, especially once he found himself homeless. “I’d get so dizzy from bending over that I’d almost pass out. I was at the point I couldn’t do anything. I had no energy, no drive. I thought for sure I was going to ha ve a stroke.”
The day he arrived at Duchesne he was in the midst of a hypertensive crisis. His blood pressure was 224/145! Homeless and without insurance, Gary resisted going to the ER without being able to pay. It’s hard for people who have fought to survive their whole life to accept help. Since finding a medical home at Duchesne, his story has changed dramatically. He is on regular high blood pressure medication and his dizziness has abated.
Now that his blood pressure is under control, Gary has energy and has lost a little weight. He has started working part-time and plans to apply for his Commercial Driver’s License. “Duchesne is great. You all help folks who don’t have the funds to be in a traditional health network. If it wasn’t for you, we’d be clogging up the emergency rooms.” Gary now pays for his own medications and is grateful Duchesne was able to pro vide them when he was just getting back on his feet.
Gary is earnest and humble. He has his own needs, wants, and dreams just like all of us. Gary never asked for a hand out, he just needed a lit tle bit of help. And the rest of the story? Gary is writing it on his own.