June 13th, 2018
Like a lot of AccessHealth Spartanburg clients, Mike Friday heard about the organization when he was in crisis. And not just any crisis: Friday was in the hospital, recovering from a cardiac event that nearly killed him.
“I didn’t know what was happening, but I almost died one night and called an ambulance,” he said. “That was when I found out that I had congestive heart failure.”
That was in May 2017. Friday enrolled in the AccessHealth Spartanburg program soon after. Also like many people who become AHS clients, Friday had never dealt with a serious health problem before. And it led to a cascade of related difficulties.
“Before then, I was otherwise healthy, happy-go-lucky. I didn’t know I had a health problem like that,” he said. “But now I couldn’t work anymore, and I had no vehicle, no job, and no stable place to live. My kids were hurting and I had to do what was best.”
That’s where AccessHealth Spartanburg came in, and Friday is one of many examples of the full potential of AccessHealth Spartanburg’s innovative case management model in managing complex cases and improving lives.
Friday was assigned to an experienced case manager, Summer Tebalt, a registered nurse. Tebalt ensured Friday had access to the ongoing cardiac care and prescription assistance he required, but her work didn’t stop there. She arranged transportation to ensure Friday would make it to all of his medical appointments. She connected Friday to nutrition education and helped him make needed changes to his diet. She also connected Friday to some legal assistance he needed, which helped reduce his stress and anxiety levels and remain focused on his recovery. Finally, she helped Friday access housing assistance and navigate the Medicaid application and approval process.
“Summer really gave her time and her effort to try to help me, and I know I can text her if I need advice or anything,” Friday said. “The treatment I received from AccessHealth Spartanburg was 100%. They were caring, concerned, and showed a lot of interest. When everyone else turned their back on me, AccessHealth Spartanburg stood by me and never gave up on me. I had no family here so I was on my own.”
As a result, Friday is looking to the future with a renewed sense of hope and new goals.
“I hope for a place in the future that my kids and I can call ours and be together as a family and be independent. My dream is to farm. I love animals. My grandpa had a farm with pigs, chickens and goats. That’s my heartbeat.
“I saw death, and that was a scary feeling. After what I’ve been through, it’s such a blessing to be alive. I wake up every morning and I thank God. I have a reminder in my phone with my alarm that says ‘Thank you, Lord, for waking me up.’
“AccessHealth Spartanburg truly is a family. They offer encouragement and give you the truth, whether you like it or not, and they do it in a nice way. I would most definitely recommend AccessHealth Spartanburg because they take interest and take the time to help you. They’ll provide the tools for you. You’ve just got to use them. AccessHealth wants to see you back on your feet and they want to help you get there.”