Regional One Health’s ONE Health Complex Care Program helps patients improve their lives by meeting their medical needs as well as social needs such as housing, transportation and job training.
For Shirley Ann Rudd, the program was a blessing when health issues prevented her from working as a home help.
Now that Shirley’s health is stable, she is participating in a vocational rehabilitation program and is looking for ways to give back as a volunteer.
Shirley Ann Rudd is used to taking care of people.
She has worked for years as a home aide, getting to know her patients so that they can meet their medical needs and offer them friendship and support.
But as Shirley’s health declined, she found herself in the unusual position of being the one seeking care. And it became more and more difficult – both physically and emotionally – as her health issues caused her to stop working and lose her health insurance.
“It came out of nowhere. I started having trouble breathing so I went to Regional One Health ER,” Shirley said. “I had my kids here when it was still there. John Gaston Hospital, so I knew it was a good hospital, and by the grace of God, Regional One Health sent good people to help me.
Shirley was linked to the care team at the ONE Health complex, which helps patients meet not only medical needs, but also social needs such as health insurance, housing and placement. Case manager Ashley Eleby, IA sat down with Shirley to find out what needs were most important to her.
For Shirley, the answer was simple: make sure she could see doctors regularly to manage her acute and chronic conditions.
More urgently, she needed heart surgery to treat the heart problems that caused her shortness of breath. She also needed medication for asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure, but without insurance it was impossible to meet her prescriptions, which made her health problems mismanaged.
Ashley had an immediate impact. “The minute I met her, I could tell she was as sweet as she could get – and she still is. She treated and spoke to me with respect, ”said Shirley. ” She is marvellous. I wish there were more people like her.
Ashley has helped Shirley navigate better health – both successes and setbacks.
As Shirley’s diabetes stabilized with proper treatment, she began to face related issues like diabetic neuropathy, a type of painful nerve damage in her hands.
The condition causes permanent flexion in one of its joints. It’s hard to work and do chores; when trying to cook, the steam can cause a burning sensation so severe that it drops the pan.
Despite these difficulties and the global challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, by 2020, Shirley was able to take care of a new patient at home. But after a serious car accident, she found herself in trouble again.
Shirley lives with depression, and the fact that she can no longer work has been devastating. “It took part of my life, because I love taking care of people and it gets me down when I can’t do the things I used to do anymore,” she said. . “When you take care of someone and all of a sudden someone has to take care of you, that will make you think. It was overwhelming. “
Once again, Ashley stepped in with exactly the help Shirley needed, connecting her with ONE Health’s mental health services partner, Alliance Healthcare Services. Now, Shirley regularly meets with a counselor to help her deal with whatever she’s going through.
It has helped her get to a point where she is able to start doing the things that she loves. And for Shirley, that means making others smile.
On a recent visit with Ashley, Shirley showed up with a bunch of handmade candies, labeling each treat with words like “You are awesome” and “You are unstoppable.”
“Miss Ashley has been a great joy and a big part of my life since I first met her, and I wanted to give something back to her. You never know what someone else is going through in life, and I just want to bring joy to people, ”Shirley said.
“I want to treat people the way I want to be treated. “
Her next goal is to start volunteering at Regional One Health, and Ashley hopes to speak to the team at the hospital’s gift shop, where Shirley’s creativity and gift basket skills could be put to use. to profit. Meanwhile, Ashley also helps Shirley apply for disability coverage and embark on a vocational rehabilitation program which may lead to job placement opportunities.
For Shirley, this is all a blessing – and she can’t wait to pay it off.
“They helped me with everything I needed, and every day I wake up and am thankful to God for waking me up and Regional One Health for being there for me,” she said. declared. “I can’t wait to be able to stand on my own feet and take care of myself, and if I can find a way to make someone else smile along the way, that’s even better. “