The weekend of April 29 – May 1 Remote Area Medical held a clinic in Smyth County, Virginia. Many people were seen and walked out with new glasses, a renewed smile, or just a better feeling about people helping other people.
One of these such people was a gentleman named David, whom we caught up with early Saturday morning while he was waiting to get some new glasses. David worked for 35 years as a nurse and also worked in construction on the side for many years. He began his career as an orderly, went to LPN school, and eventually graduated as an RN with his daughter.
Ten years ago, David hurt his back and he has been unemployed since. He has had multiple back surgeries and had two spinal simulators implanted to help him deal with the ongoing pain. He had insurance through his employer at the onset of his condition and has been on short term and long term disability to help alleviate his inability to work.
Now, he is paying to receive health care in the market place on The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care, and is having a hard time getting on disability. When asked about the Affordable Care Act, which helps people who need health insurance, he replied, “I am glad to have it but I think it could be better.” He commented about the difficulties of obtaining prescription medicine at times being one of his main complaints. David stated that while he has had much trouble with receiving health care throughout the years since his condition began, he was still a fan of the health care system in our country.
When asked if he had any regrets about his condition, which he felt may have been caused by the amount of heavy lifting throughout the years as a nurse, he stated, “I would go back and do it again right now if I could.” David stated that he had been to one other RAM clinic in Bristol, Tennessee and would love to be able to assist the people who volunteer their time, adding, “I am really thankful for the volunteers that do this.”
While David may have received the care that he needed on this day, there are many more people still in need of basic health care.
By Justin Garrison