When the pain became just too much, Michele finally called St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s Health Center. Though she was without health insurance, she had delayed calling because she worried she would be taking services away from someone else, “I’m blessed – with family, with resources, with so much that others go without — how could I take advantage of these services that might prevent someone else in greater need from getting help?”
Yet her pain was excruciating, radiating up the entire left side of her body. When Michele finally visited the Health Center, Nurse Trudy and Dr. Pollicina treated her with care and respect. They ran tests, directed her to where to get x-rays, and found the source of the problem and were able to treat it. At the Free Clinic Health Center, she got the care that she had been putting off, including physical therapy to help her regain her strength and mobility.
Three years later, when Michele’s business was prospering, she decided to give back to the Free Clinic. It was one way she could say thank you and repay the kindness and compassion she had received.
Even several years later, the kindness and care she received still resonates. She feels a sense of community at the Free Clinic. “All different walks of life treated here, and each person is treated with the same care.” Michele has become an advocate for the Free Clinic as well, telling friends and acquaintances about the Health Center and the Food Bank and the services provided at the Free Clinic: “I’m blessed to give back and can’t say enough about the good work being done here”.
The Free Clinic exists to help our neighbors in need. Yet the Free Clinic is simply the vehicle that enables neighbors to help each other. Thank you to Michele and the many supporters who give back because they were given hope.