The moment Awilda Lozada, RN, saw Maria del Socorro-Lopez enter Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic in early 2015, she knew something was wrong. “She just looked very weak, down and depressed,” Awilda recalled.
“I was overweight, l was suddenly losing my hair, and I was depressed, and I was embarrassed. I didn’t want to go outside,” said Maria. “My friend told me to get help at Walker’s Point because she said they are known for treating people with care.”
Aurora Walker’s Point Community Clinic is the largest free clinic in the state, offering bilingual support for patients. In 2014, caregivers provided 11,837 clinic visits to 3,442 individuals, many of whom, like Maria, do not have insurance.
“We knew she needed help right away, so we told her we would figure out the paperwork later and brought her in for an exam,” said Awilda. That’s when it was discovered Maria was diabetic. Her blood sugar was so high; it didn’t register on the recorder.
Maria took this diagnosis seriously. She came back for follow up appointments and started medication. Caregivers encouraged Maria to attend classes to help her take charge of her health and diet. Within six months, the 50 year-old’s blood sugar level dropped to a normal level; she’s lost more than 50 pounds and has new found energy.
“This is why I love being a nurse. Just to see a person get the medical help she needed,” said Awilda. “Maria wanted to find out what diabetes was and to understand how she can control her health, and she was able to do it.”
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