“Efrain” came to the Recuperative Care Program after a partial foot amputation as a result of uncontrolled diabetes. His recuperation period was only anticipated to be approximately 2 weeks. He and RCP staff were challenged by a very long, prolonged healing process due to multiple infections that occurred, despite many changes in medication and almost daily oversight by the CHC Clinic located on-site at 40 Prado. Unfortunately this was not the only thing standing in the way of his healing. Due to immigration status and medical ineligibility, there was very limited access to medical services. At first, he was unable to get basic, and very necessary, home health wound care services, diagnostic and imaging services, and covered medications to control his diabetes. Prior to his injury, he was able to pay for these services while he was working at a north county farm. Being unable to work due to his physical condition and ineligible for social services, Efrain ended up in a situation of homelessness with no support. During his stay in RCP, staff connected him to community resources such as the Noor Clinic and Catholic Charities, as well as generous doctors at Twin Cities. Along with CHC’s Homeless Grant, these programs were able to assist in meeting some of his needs.
Efrain was very passionate about following a proper diabetic diet and spent a lot of time reading and educating himself on his condition. He was dedicated to living the best lifestyle possible and did everything “by the book”. What motivated him the most was getting back to his job and home and “being able to dance again”. He was able to maintain a positive outlook even when things were not progressing the way they were supposed to.
Several months went by and his wound finally started to close. As soon as he was cleared to bear weight, he was up and out of his wheelchair, finding creative ways to provide his own type of physical therapy. Thanks to Caitlin May, the CHC Nurse Practitioner who located a very generous donor, he will also now be able to get a partial foot prosthesis. With his hard work and the support of RCP and many others in the community, Efrain will be leaving 40 Prado on December 20th to return home!