Stories from the Basement

Stories from the Basement #2

By Donna Clark RN , Director

Here at H.O.P.E., Inc., we encounter many people with stories that will just make you walk away thanking God for all the blessings He has given you.
A client who had been a part of our agency for many years had reached the point in his life that he had remained clean and sober for 2 years, received certification in janitorial services, found housing, and gotten a job with benefits. He had to work 3 months before those benefits began but he was doing well. One weekend he developed severe pain and went to the Emergency Room where a CT scan was done. This test revealed kidney cancer and a mass on his spleen.

Although he had done well remaining sober over the years, he had not yet been able to completely develop his coping skills and this news devastated him. He failed to notify work and stayed out several days causing him to lose his job. Because he thought that would make us disappointed, he disappeared from contact for several months. We put the word out on the street we were looking for him and he eventually appeared in our office. He was unable to get insurance, couldn’t get seen by the kidney specialist unless he had several hundred dollars up front, and was without hope. His pain worsening, he became fearful and allowed us to pray with and for him. Over time we helped him get medical assistance after several battles with the state/county, helped him apply for social security disability, and paid for his appointment with the general surgeon who would have to be present at the surgery to deal with the mass on his spleen.

By the time he finally had his surgery 6 months had passed and a lot of frustration had been dealt with. We supported him providing food, bus passes to get to appointments, phone calls to social service and Annapolis to speed up his medical assistance, advocating for him with his doctors and the hospital, and most of all our prayers. His cancerous kidney was finally removed as well as his spleen. The mass on his spleen was not cancerous therefore not requiring any further treatment.

He continues to live with pain and we are seeing that he gets treatment and testing from his new Primary Care doctor. We have referred him to lawyers to continue to try and get his disability due to his pain and other health issues. His smile is bright and his sense of humor has returned as proved by the practical jokes he likes to play on the staff.

The work done here at H.O.P.E., Inc. is God’s work and we all feel privileged that His presence is here in the basement.