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A Patient’s Story: Hector

  • June 07, 2016
  • Newsroom, Americares Free Clinics, Norwalk

By the time Hector visited the Bob Macauley AmeriCares Free Clinic in Norwalk, he knew something was wrong. He was constantly tired and thirsty, and for the two days leading up to his appointment, suffered from blurred vision and had to make frequent trips to the bathroom. He suspected high cholesterol—a condition that runs in his family. At his first appointment, though, Hector was diagnosed with diabetes.

“I was frustrated because I was so young,” he said. “I was only 31 years old.”

When he came to the clinic, Hector’s blood sugar was over 300 mg/dL—three times the normal level.

The American Diabetes Association reports that people with diabetes incur average medical expenses of more than $13,000 per year, accounting for more than one in five health care dollars in the U.S. With testing every three months for the past 11 years, Hector has had nearly $48,000 in lab work performed at no cost, thanks to generous support from Quest Diagnostics. And while he currently takes four different medications, including two different insulins, his monthly pharmacy cost is only $4 due to donations from our pharmaceutical partners.

Since his diagnosis, Hector has seen a dramatic improvement. He sticks to a low-sugar diet, plays soccer and goes to the gym regularly, helping his body better utilize glucose. Today, his glycated hemoglobin level, which measures how well his diabetes is being controlled, is close to that of a nondiabetic.

“I’ve accepted the condition—I don’t consider it like I’m sick, it’s just one condition I have,” said Hector. “I’m just so happy. I thank God for you guys.”