A Member of the Clinic Family
(l-r) WTFC Clinic Charge Nurse Cathy Culbertson, WTFC volunteer, former patient, and current major donor Carla Jones, WTFC Medical Assistant Terry Oden.
The accident was not in Carla’s plans.
What started as a carefree joy ride became a living nightmare. Carla, a 51-year old Holland resident, was on the back of a friend’s motorcycle when the bike hit an exposed manhole cover on the Hodges Ferry Bridge at 45 miles an hour. Carla was brutally thrown from the bike and severely injured. The hospital emergency team found three head wounds, two brain bleeds, a broken pelvis, two broken ribs, and a punctured left lung when Carla was brought in.
Before this horrific accident, Carla had been a Registered Nurse for nine years. She had gotten a new job two weeks earlier at a local hospital, but was not yet eligible for insurance benefits. In addition, Carla’s recovery would take many months, and she would have no income. With no insurance, Carla was released from the hospital less than two weeks after her accident. Within a month, her neurologist had also released her.
Carla was in desperate need of help – her memory loss was as debilitating as her physical injuries.
Carla seemed to have forgotten her nursing skills and was reading on a fourth grade level. The neurologist had mentioned that volunteering might help Carla stretch her brain, so she applied to volunteer at Western Tidewater Free Clinic (WTFC). With the support of Clinic staff, Carla slowly started using her career skills again.
Carla still did not have regular health care and was too proud to seek help. Staff members finally convinced Carla to seek care as a patient. She was eligible – uninsured with little income and living in Western Tidewater. Finally, Carla could receive the regular medical care she so desperately needed.
“I was in so much doubt about my nursing skills, and in so much pain. The Clinic gave me hope and a chance at a new life,” Carla remembers. After much hard work and quality health care from WTFC, Carla was able to move on with her life, choosing a new career where she could still help others. Carla is no longer a patient at WTFC. She became a certified Healing Touch therapist in 2011 and now offers her services to patients at Sentara Obici Hospital. When Carla volunteers at the Clinic today, she works side-by-side with her former caregivers.
Not only does Carla give WTFC her time, she also gives her money. Carla supports the mission of WTFC as a financial donor and has for the past three years. She says, “I want to help others the way the Clinic helped me.”
Unfortunately, accidents do happen – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t help available. By supporting WTFC, you are a critical part of a healthy future for someone like Carla.
The Kennedys once dreamed of building a home on the 1.8-acre property they had bought several years earlier. But things changed, as they tend to do, and they no longer needed the land. Instead of selling the property, the couple decided to donate it to a worthy charity. Discussions with their personal advisor led them to the decision to select Western Tidewater Free Clinic. The property was later sold at auction and netted the Clinic over $50,000.
“We are definitely satisfied with where it (the land) went… The Clinic works with a lot of areas of care. I’m impressed.” ~ Ginger Kennedy
The Kennedys did not know the folks at Western Tidewater Free Clinic when they decided to make their donation, but they will long be remembered by the people at the Clinic for their generosity.
The mission of Western Tidewater Free Clinic is to provide high-quality, non-emergency health care to the residents of Western Tidewater who cannot otherwise afford it. Western Tidewater Free Clinic maintains a 501(c)3 non-profit status and gifts are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.