Recently we had the pleasure of sitting down with Miss Pat as she is affectionately known by her friends and fellow parishioners. Miss Pat is 59 years old and originally from Tennessee. She is a woman of great faith who loves to sing and minister to others.
In 1988, Miss Pat moved to northern Virginia in 1988 as a military wife and later relocated to Culpeper where she worked for 23 years at a local credit union until it closed. Since then she has been out-of-work and carefully living off retirement income.
In June of 2017 Miss Pat needed medical care and contacted the Free Clinic. It wasn’t an easy call for her to make. As someone who has always taken care of herself, she is much more comfortable in the role of giving to others rather than receiving help. When she arrived at the Free Clinic for her first visit, Miss Pat was on all kinds of medication for chronic issues such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, high cholesterol and degenerative osteoarthritis. And, she wasn’t feeling well at all.
Miss Pat met with Cathy, our physician’s assistant, to discuss her health concerns. “She pulled up a stool and listened to me…REALLY listened. She’s amazing”, Miss Pat said. She went on to say, “Even when I had insurance I never got the care that I get now. They treat me with respect and are so kind. It’s almost like they’re not real because they’re so good.”
The Free Clinic staff connected Miss Pat with medical specialists and helped her to enroll in an exercise program at Powell Wellness Center. There she received a fitness scholarship made possible by generous donors. Now, less than a year later, Miss Pat has lost 20 lbs., lowered her cholesterol, reduced her blood sugar, and is on only a few medications!
As we concluded our visit Miss Pat said, “I have nothing to give and they keep giving to me joyfully. I feel like the love I’ve given to others over the years is coming back to me. The Free Clinic is a Godsend.”