Last fall, Elizabeth Morales was diagnosed with breast cancer. Without health insurance and unable to afford the cost of care, she was unable to seek treatment. Elizabeth created a GoFundMe account and spent many hours driving to Miami, where she has a sister, seeking alternative resources.
Six months later, Elizabeth found herself to be so ill that she could not turn from left to right in her bed without experiencing excruciating pain. She called 9-1-1 and was transported to the hospital where she remained for 20 days, incapable of caring for her boys. The diagnoses: Elizabeth’s cancer had metastasized and spread to her bones.
Her eldest, Enmanuel, did his best to provide for his two younger brothers, preparing meals and getting them through the end of the school year, but it wasn’t easy. The family found themselves paying a fortune on takeout and the boys missed school. During Elizabeth’s 20-day hospital stay, Enmanual graduated from Vero Beach High School.
In the hospital, Elizabeth was able to receive radiation, but after being discharged she would be on her own. A single mother, with three sons at home and unable to find help or raise funds, Elizabeth felt as if she had nowhere to turn.
But she did have help. She met a social worker from the VNA who offered her assistance to apply for Medicaid. Knowing it would take some time and that Elizabeth would soon be discharged from the hospital, the VNA social worker acted quickly to ensure Elizabeth received the help she so desperately needed. The social worker reached out to the VNA & Hospice Foundation, notified them of the situation and its urgency. Within one day, the VNA was able to provide Elizabeth with medication, at no cost to her family.
The VNA is the only local organization that cares for patients regardless of their financial standing. Without the partnerships of donors and philanthropists, Elizabeth would have left the hospital without the important medication vital to improving her health and quality of life.
Elizabeth is so appreciative of VNA’s assistance. For once she knew help was on the way and she could return home to be with her children. Because of the VNA & Hospice Foundation, Elizabeth received pain medication, anti-nausea pills, lidocaine patches and oral chemo in no time at all.
“Although I am not 100% better, I am healthier than I was,” said Elizabeth. “The medication made a big difference. I am very grateful as a single mom of three children, that VNA helped me. In the name of my kids, I thank you very much.”
Illnesses don’t wait for convenient times in our lives, and for Elizabeth, it came at the worst time. Without the ongoing support of donors like you, the VNA cannot care for patients like Elizabeth. Contributions to the annual fund give patients like Elizabeth hope that when help is needed, we are here.