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Patient Testimonials

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Richard's Story...

          Richard is a kind, optimistic man who moved to Redding, CA from Northern Idaho in 2019 to build a healthier life for himself and his children. Richard had lost the lower half of his left leg in June 2016 after an attempted suicide. He first entered SCHC's HOPE Recuperative Care in December 2020 with lesions on his residual limb from the friction of walking around amid Redding’s infamous summer heat.  Unfortunately, sores of this nature are frequently recurrent and often become infected with excessive prosthetic use, improper fitting at the joint, and a lack of wound care.

Photo: Richard in the Sun

White male wearing dark blue Puma hoodie, with a green and yellow A's hat on, sitting in his wheelchair.

          Richard said he was working with the social security office before but having an entire team advocating for his needs was invaluable. In his first four weeks off the street, Richard was able to sign up for Cal Fresh, apply for apartments, and begin his treatment at the methadone clinic. As someone who struggles with depression, Richard emphasized the importance of having frequent check-ups from the respite staff, which eased the feelings of isolation during his time in recuperative care.

          After discharging from the HOPE Recuperative Care program in January 2020, Richard tried to make do with what he had. With his resources being limited, Richard was unable to keep the sores clean. Within a few weeks, Richard was again hospitalized with new infections which had spread to the bone. After a month in the hospital on antibiotics, Richard was readmitted to HOPE Recuperative Care in March 2021 for continued care.

          Renewed with an unyielding determination to avoid returning to a life of unstable housing, and inevitably repeating the same cycle, Richard returned with firm goals in mind and a strong will to get his life on track. From the day of his intake, Richard was fully engaged, working diligently with the HOPE Recuperative Care Case Manager, Sarah Till, to complete the necessary forms for permanent housing, collect crucial documents like his California ID and birth certificate, and sign up for mental health services.

          Richard said, “if I were out there, using and homeless, I never would have been able to get these things done”. Richard was even able to build a few positive relationships during his time in medical respite with others who provided positive influences and encouragement. In his down time between appointments, Richard studied positive thinking and how to manifest success. He explained that utilizing positive affirmations enabled him to push through hard times and believe in his ability to achieve his goals; it is not a matter of “if” but “when”.

          After discharging from HOPE Recuperative Care, Richard transferred to SCHC's Whole Person Care for case management and transition into permanent housing. At that point in time, the last items on Richard’s to-do list were to order an electric wheelchair and be fitted for a new prosthetic leg, which he has now accomplished. This equipment allows him to travel through town safely and efficiently, streamlining daily tasks and promoting self-sufficiency. Hopefully, this will allow him to take better care of his body and prevent his leg wounds from reopening and re-infecting, further reinforcing his independent lifestyle.

          Richard expressed gratitude to the Pathways' team, SCHC, and volunteers in handling all requests “with swiftness and tact”. Richard also boasted about Dr. Kyle Patton and John Lord, RN at Shasta Community Health Center, affirming that they are “on top of it”. Despite feeling nervous about life after Medical Respite, Richard remains hopeful about the future. He says that, even though losing his leg was traumatic, he is thankful that he found this program when he did. Richard reports feeling more “clear headed” with a few months of sobriety under his belt and is optimistic about living a clean and healthy life.

Brandi's Story...

          Brandi is a hopeful, creative woman full of new-found life and determination. After six weeks in the SCHC's HOPE Recuperative Care program, Brandi was able to recover from a series of illnesses, all while embarking on the road to recovery from drug addiction. Before admitting to the Recuperative Care, Brandi had been experiencing chest pain for a week, ultimately finding herself stuck behind a restaurant, too weak to even lift her head. After three days of deteriorating, someone finally called an ambulance for her. The hospital concluded she had pneumonia, a lung abscess, and fluid around her heart, all while suffering a heart attack.  

Photo: Keychain made by Brandi

A silver keychain with heart-shaped clasp lying on dark brown wood. The beads alternate between shimmery green and pink as well as pink flower blossoms.

          Two chest tubes later, Brandi could finally breathe again, however, she was still in critical condition. After Brandi was released back onto the street, Shasta Community Health Center’s Dr. Patton found her severely decompensating at her camp during one of his outreach expeditions. He knew she would not make it long without medical intervention in a safe and clean environment and advised her to stay with us while she got her strength back. She explained, “I was in so much pain that any time I woke up, I wished I could just get high and go back to sleep”. If Recuperative Care had not been an option, Brandi would have continued shuffling between camps, further exacerbating her condition. 

          Brandi affirmed that her recovery in Recuperative Care was exponentially better than previous experiences she has had recuperating on the street. Initially, she was scared to death. However, once she learned to trust the SCHC and Pathways teams, something clicked, and Brandi flourished. She went from being isolated, sad, and afraid to someone who takes daily walks, chats up the neighbors, and wears a smile on her face. She occupied her free time by crafting handmade jewelry and even started selling it for extra income. Brandi was especially grateful to have the support of the HOPE Recuperative Care Case Manager, Sarah Till, who kept her motivated to complete her paperwork and SSDI interviews through her withdrawal period. Brandi said, “I would have never gotten everything done if it was left up to me alone, given the state I was in.”  

          Brandi realized her medical conditions, along with drug addiction, were taking a toll on her body. She decided early on to take advantage of her time in respite and started addiction treatment right away. Once she began Suboxone therapy, she was able to gain a promising outlook in life and maintain her sobriety. At the end of her stay, Brandi was transferred to SCHC's Whole Person Care for additional case management and connection to housing. She reported feeling “nervous but excited,” for the next chapter in her life, “like a kid waiting for Christmas”. She was relieved to have secured a spot in a residential Drug and Alcohol Recovery Treatment program, despite the uncertainty of exactly where her placement will lead her. She declared that her time with Recuperative Care was amazing; her only regret being that she did not reach out for help sooner.