Getting Healthy to Get Back to Work
Tracy moved to Tampa Bay when he was 6 years old and has called this area home ever since. A little over two years ago, Tracy was supporting his family as an assistant produce manager at a local Publix Super Market when his health took a major downward turn. He suffered a heart attack and was also diagnosed with a seizure disorder. His health issues forced him to leave the job he had held for 30 years and required his wife to become the family’s breadwinner. Unfortunately, with the loss of his job came the loss of their family’s health insurance. His wife’s salary wasn’t enough to allow for private health insurance but too much to allow for government assistance like County Social Services or Medicaid. In and out of the hospital and desperate for some sort of help Tracy found the Clearwater Free Clinic. He was able to register as a patient and be seen by a doctor the same day.
The CFC has provided Tracy with services, referrals and medications he otherwise could not afford. “My medication bill alone would cost us $2,500 a month and there is no way I could afford that.” Thanks to the CFC, Tracy was able to start working again this past August. His health insurance will soon take effect and he will no longer need the services of the Clinic. “The CFC has become like family to me. I don’t know everyone’s name, but I know their smiles and their warm greetings. Everyone is so willing to help and no one treats me like I am just a poor person.” He and his wife celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary in January. There are countless patients that aren’t able to afford care on their own but don’t qualify for Medicaid or county services and otherwise would be in and out of the hospital, unable to work because of their health. Success stories like Tracy’s are what make the Clearwater Free Clinic a vital part of our community.