“If it wasn’t for the Clinic, I’d be dead. They never gave up on me. They pushed me to get better. I had nothing, and I couldn’t have done it on my own. They saved my life, and I am so grateful.”
- Andrew, an LFC patient
For his entire adult life, Andrew Nicoletti lived everyone’s dream. He worked as a corporate accountant, made plenty of money, and never had health problems. Then, for the first time in his life, he found himself in the hospital with a life threatening bacterial infection. He was hospitalized for two and a half months. When he was released he found himself without a job, and without health insurance.
The economic crash of 2008 made it very difficult for Andrew to find steady work, and it ultimately cost him everything. He lost his savings and his house. He had to declare bankruptcy. He had nothing left and nowhere to turn when he noticed a spot on his back that had been causing pain. The spot turned out to be skin cancer.
Andrew had surgery to remove the cancer, but without insurance or income he couldn’t afford follow-up care. For Andrew, coming to the Free Clinic was a last resort.
“I never thought in a million years that this would happen.”
Many of our patients come to us when they have nowhere else to go, after they have been living with illness for weeks, months or even years. Andrew was no exception. Without health insurance or the money to pay for a doctor’s visit out of pocket, he was forced to ignore dangerous symptoms until they couldn’t be ignored any longer. Although Andrew first came to us for wound care after his surgery, he was actually very sick. Andrew was diagnosed with diabetes, hypertension, anemia and hypothyroidism.
The years of pain and struggle took a big toll on Andrew. He battled depression, and there were times when he thought about ending his life. The Free Clinic wasn’t about to let that happen. The staff and volunteers rallied around Andrew and pushed him to fight. We scheduled him for weekly visits to get the diabetes under control, sent him to podiatrists, ophthalmologists and wound care, and made sure all his treatments, medications and labs were handled at no cost. Everyone at the Free Clinic fought for Andrew, and he made a stunning turnaround.
Thanks to everyone involved, Andrew is getting healthy. He has a future. He is a true story of hope and a tribute to what your support can do for those in need.