Sami and the meaning of community.
Sami came in the Clinic last week with her Mom. She is a bright, pretty young 22 year old. So why were there tears when she was here?
Sami, whose full name is Samara, first came to the Clinic when she was 6 years old. She had never been to a doctor since she was born because her parents were uninsured and without money to pay for doctor’s visits. Sami was in a folded “ball” position with her arms, hands and legs completely contracted. She was unable to move and had a vocabulary of only a few words. Sami was suffering from cerebral palsy and, with that, reoccurring seizures.
Dr. Rossi, volunteer provider from Rush University Medical Center, treated Sami and immediately put her on a medication called Depakote. Instantly, Sami and her family saw improvements in her condition. She was started on physical, occupational and speech therapy as well. Soon after, her seizures began to disappear and Sami was able to go to school.
There she taught herself English and perfected her Spanish. Her parents got positions that provided the family health insurance and Sami started to receive her care elsewhere.
For the next 13 years, Sami was growing, maturing and improving in all aspects of her life. She went on to graduate from Woodstock North High School and McHenry County College! She has been walking with only the use of a walker for the past several years and she has grown to be very talkative and outgoing young adult.
She was back at the clinic because her Mom lost her job and the family’s health insurance. Sami came to ask how she could get her physical therapy resumed. Our nursing staff was delighted and ecstatic to see her doing so well! They treated her and provided her with referrals for therapy.
Before she left, Sami and her Mom wanted to meet all the people who had helped her so long ago when she first came to FHPC. Suzanne, Betty and Alma met with her. Instantly, smiles and laughs filled the air. Followed by, yes, tears. Tears of joy.