Pam is a St. Joseph resident who had a full-time position with health care benefits until her health began to deteriorate about 10 years ago. She was diagnosed with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), a rare blood disorder. Pam spent time in ICU and had seven months of plasmapheresis. After this care, she was finally able to go back to work. Pam later left that position for a better paying job. Unfortunately, soon after she started having health problems again. Her TTP returned and she developed blood clots in her legs, which prevented her from sitting for extended periods or walking long distances. Pam’s health issues led to her losing her employment 18 months ago due to an inability to work.
Pam has been without access to health care for the last year and a half. She has since been diagnosed with Fabry Disease. Pam is also diabetic and getting her insulin and medication she needs for TTP has been a struggle, if not impossible. Pam has found herself in the coverage gap and unable to afford health coverage at a time she needs it most. She has used all her savings to pay for medical bills. If not for family to stay with and a free clinic in St. Joseph, Pam would be in an even worse situation. She says, “I worked all my life. I never expected to be unable to work because of illness. To be denied health care when I need it most is like getting kicked down when I was most vulnerable. I don’t want anyone who has suddenly become disabled to have to go through what I am going through.”