Faces of APA

Tommy’s Story

Norma’s Story

Courtesy of KTUU-TV NBC.

Laura’s Story

Being the sole caregiver to her ill father, 27 year old Alaskan Laura Cafmeyer had difficulty working full time. Laura’s father had been diagnosed with Pick’s disease seven years earlier and he became easily confused and tended to wander from home when not watched. In-home care for him was not an affordable option. Laura CafmeyerHowever, Laura was able to secure a part-time seasonal position with a local home improvement center, working while her father napped during the day. Unfortunately this position didn’t offer health insurance. In July 2007 Laura suffered what she thought might be a hernia. Lifting heavy bags of soil on the job aggravated the condition. “It was very frustrating” said Laura. A physician at Mountain View Health Center quickly confirmed the hernia diagnosis and recommended surgery. “All I could think was ”where am I going to come up with this money?'” said Laura. She was concerned that she would just have to “tough it out” and if it eventually got too painful, she would go to the emergency room. “I thought it was my only option” she said.

When her Aunt Mary (“my guardian angel” according to Laura) saw a television ad for Project Access, she excitedly called Laura and helped her fill out the paperwork from the Project Access website. Next Laura spoke with Stephanie Engel, a Patient Care coordinator at Project Access, and was quickly referred to Dr. James O’Malley for a surgical consultation. He agreed surgery was necessary and within a few days Laura found herself at Providence Hospital. She confided that she has a “definite fear of needles” but Laura said the Providence staff made her so comfortable she “felt almost like I was home.” After a couple of painful days recovering, Laura’s hernia was successfully resolved and within a week she began to feel healthy again. Everyone involved with her surgery was “absolutely just wonderful” reported Laura. “I was so lucky” said Laura. “I’m so grateful this program exists”. More good news arrived in early November: Laura’s hospital bill with Providence had qualified 100% for Providence’s charity care program and was dismissed.