"I’m just glad they are here"
Joseph was a salesman with the same company for years before he was laid off due to the economy. At 61, Joseph, born and raised in Los Angeles, found himself without a job and without health insurance. So Joseph wasn’t sure what to do when one morning he woke up unable to move his face. Joseph thought he was having a stroke. “My daughter who happened to be in town was alarmed, she also thought I was having a stroke.”
Scared, but with no money, they needed an alternative to going to a hospital. A neighbor suggested UMMA. Joseph’s daughter brought him to UMMA where he received immediate attention. Fortunately Joseph didn’t have a stroke. He was suffering from Bell’s palsy, a temporary malady which affects the nerves in the face.
“The blessing was that, as a result of my Bell’s palsy, UMMA discovered a number of other things that needed to be treated.” “Firstly they discovered that I am diabetic, so that was a good thing to be able to know and address. The second thing as a result of my diabetes, they checked my eyes and discovered that I had some retinal bleeding behind both of my eyes.”
UMMA arranged for Joseph to have laser eye surgery at no cost to him. UMMA also assigned Joseph a personal doctor who told him that his community had the highest rates of deaths due to diabetes and strokes, and advised Joseph on how to better take care of himself. “If I had continued the way I was going I would have been in big trouble.” Joseph’s employment situation hasn’t changed and he has now been a patient at UMMA for 14 months.
“I am getting good care at UMMA. Here I have been treated as well, if not better than your standard conventional health care providers. If I have a question I just need to call and it’s addressed… I think UMMA is a valuable resource, I’m just glad they are here. I hope they are getting the kind of support they should because they are a health safety net for the community. To come into a community where you don’t reside and provide a service like this, I think has nothing to do with faith but to do with your character.”