December 4, 2019
Imagine for a moment that you just moved to a new country with your husband and your four children. Your new home is a one-bedroom apartment that you share with another family. Your children sleep on the floor in one corner and the other family’s children sleep in the other. You have no friends and no other family. You don’t even speak the country’s native language.
That was the situation one HSNT patient found herself in.
“We moved [to Dallas] on December 19th, 2000, very close to Christmas,” says the patient, who will be named Gabriela due to her wishing to remain anonymous. “I had a baby in Brownsville, it was my first time in Dallas. I didn’t speak a word of English. It was kind of a rough beginning.”
“I’m having a better quality of life than before. Having the opportunity of this help is huge.”
In between working to support her family, taking English classes, and shuttling the kids to church, Gabriela barely had time for anything else. Then, in 2007, Gabriela and her husband divorced. From there, it was a different kind of life, every penny counted. Healthcare was something she couldn’t afford to worry about.
“After my first three babies, I started having problems. There was no way for me to go to a regular OB/GYN, it was just too expensive. The first appointment they wanted to do blood and sonograms; it was too much. It was actually a doctor from an OB/GYN who sent me [HSNT].”
First Visit to Health Services of North Texas
Since that first visit to HSNT’s Denton South Center, Gabriela has made the center her new medical home. She’s been able to treat her polycystic ovaries, which appeared after her third child, as well as receive preventive treatments for things that could’ve turned into something worse. Healthcare was something she couldn’t afford to worry about. HSNT helped ease that worry.
“Recently, I was driving and I was having bad cramps and they said I need a sonogram and I was like ‘I can’t do that right now’ and they called me back and they told me ‘We can help you’ I thought it was going to be just a discount but [that visit] was totally free. [For my usual visits] I pay $45 or $50, which is awesome. That was a big help.”
These days, Gabriela lives with her husband, who she met in 2011, and her youngest daughter, now a senior in high school. Her two oldest sons work and live together, her oldest daughter is a student at UNT, and her second youngest daughter recently got married and now works as a young adult counselor.
“I’m 46 years old,” Gabriela says, “and when I start seeing stuff that’s not normal…the fact that I can call you guys, that’s the best. Because it’s scary not being taken care of because of money. So, I’m having a better quality of life than before. Having the opportunity of this help is huge.”
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