Bryan’s Story

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How One Patient Found Support at Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center

Bryan has been a patient of Erie Evanston/Skokie since 2013, just a little after the health center opened its doors at Evanston’s Civic Center. Despite being pretty active all his life, in between working at a warehouse for over 18 years and enjoying weight-lifting and swimming, he was experiencing uncomfortable tightness in his legs. He wanted to see a doctor, but he was recently unemployed. He didn’t have health insurance, and wasn’t sure where to go. Fortunately, a social worker at the YMCA connected him with Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center.

Bryan was diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease, a circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to his legs. He needed intervention surgery to promote good circulation – and had three surgeries done at the nearby St. Francis hospital. “Those bills were over $90,000,” said Bryan. “But I worked with the patient navigation team at Erie and they got me health insurance that paid for it.”

Rebecca Calendo, Bryan’s nurse, says his condition needs constant care and monitoring. Because of the blood-thinning medication Bryan takes, he needs to come in to the health center every couple weeks to make sure he stays healthy. “It’s a chronic, lifelong condition,” said Rebecca. “I think it’s a testament to Bryan’s motivation to take care of himself that he’s so great about coming in regularly.”

Today Bryan lives at the McGaw YMCA. He’s on a cane now, but enjoys his walks and his visits to Erie Evanston/Skokie. “The nurses and the staff – everyone so friendly,” he said. “They really helped me.”

In 2017, one in five adults without health insurance went without necessary medical care due to the high cost. It’s our mission to ensure that no one goes without the medical attention they need to live a happier, healthier life. To learn more about what your contribution does to make our programs and services possible, please contact Ashley Moy-Wooten at amoywooten@eriefamilyhealth.org.