Barnabas Nassau County, FL

Stories of Hope


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Our stories are about connecting people, help, and hope. They are stories of everyday need, and of extraordinary compassion picking people up and giving them a chance to get on their feet and live fulfilling lives. As you read these actual accounts, join us in thanking our many donors, staff, volunteers, partners, churches and organizations that make these stories of hope possible.

Stories of Hope

Uninsured AND Undiagnosed

A 55 year old woman with thyroid problems came to Barnabas Health Services to establish a relationship with a primary care provider. She had not seen a health care provider in many years due to lack of insurance. The patient was complaining of excessive thirst, increased urination and fatigue for many months. She was examined by our Physician Assistant and found to have Diabetes, significant hypothyroidism, and her blood pressure was very elevated. Her total cholesterol was over 350! Medical therapy was initiated for all of her problems. The patient was seen every two weeks and attended our Diabetes class to understand and achieve her goal blood sugar levels. At her last appointment her thyroid was back to normal, blood pressure was at goal, cholesterol came down 200 points with medications, and her blood sugar level was normal. The patient is feeling much better, started exercising regularly and is doing very well. She is grateful for the care she has received through Barnabas’ Medical program. This is another example of Barnabas fulfilling its mission by connecting people, help and hope!
Baptist Health

Stories of Hope

Connecting People, Help & Hope

A 49 year old woman with multiple medical problems came to Barnabas Health Services to establish a relationship with a primary care provider. The patient had a history of hypertension, diabetes, and a previous traumatic neck injury. She was also experiencing breast pain and had not had a mammogram in over five years due to a lack of health insurance. Barnabas Health Services began treatment for her hypertension and diabetes as well as a referral for a mammogram screening. There was an abnormal lesion in her breast, and she had a diagnostic mammogram performed by Baptist Health's Hill Breast Cancer at no cost to her. Ultrasound and biopsy revealed invasive ductal breast cancer, and she was immediately referred to a local oncologist who graciously sees Barnabas oncology patients as part of the Nassau Cares program. The woman was scheduled for a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous lesion. She was very fortunate and grateful that the cancer was caught in its early stages and treatment was provided through Barnabas health care partners.

Baptist Healthnassau cares
 
Nassau Cares is a network of specialty medical providers that serve uninsured Barnabas patients at no cost.

Stories of Hope

Making A Difference, One Life At A Time

Jeff Deaton was diagnosed with Stage Two Parkinson’s Disease in early 2013. Due to his symptomatic “tremors”, he found it difficult to obtain or retain employment as potential employers assumed he had drug or alcohol abuse issues. With no money, income or transportation to get to medical appointments, Mr. Deaton’s friend brought him to Barnabas for medical assistance. Barnabas helped Mr. Deaton with obtaining the necessary prescriptions for his Parkinson’s Disease, referred him to physical therapy, and recommended he visit the on-site Mental Health Counselor for his mounting depression due to his situation. The counselor (knowing of Adult Bikes for Barnabas program) suggested Mr. Deaton see the Barnabas Case Manager to determine if he qualified for a bicycle for transportation purposes. Although he was eligible to receive a bike, his poor balance due to Parkinson’s put him at risk of fall and injury. Barnabas purchased an adult tricycle to enable Mr. Deaton to get to his medical appointments, and the Cycling & Fitness Center assembled it. The tricycle facilitates Mr. Deaton’s continued independence, and the physical activity from peddling may also help stave off the progression of the disease. “Barnabas has helped me in so many ways. Everyone has been so caring. I just want to say ‘thank you’ for helping me get my life back”, Mr. Deaton declared when interviewed. This demonstrates how an integrated approach to care can be effective at helping an individual achieve self-sufficiency, good health and well-being.

Baptist Health
fernandina cycling and fitnessstarting point

Stories of Hope

Abused and Alone

A survivor of domestic violence became pregnant during that abusive relationship. She placed her baby for adoption and consequently lost the support of her family. Barnabas helped her with past due rent to prevent her from becoming homeless. Our case manager connected her with our on-site Starting Point Mental Health Counselor, as she was struggling with anxiety and depression related to the adoption, her past abusive relationship and her strained family dynamics. She is receiving on-going mental health counseling, and has started a new job to which she is able to get each day thanks to a bicycle donated through our Bikes for Barnabas program. She is now working hard to restart her life and become self-sufficient.

Aided in part by a grant from the Women’s Giving Alliance.
Women’s Giving Alliance

Stories of Hope

Undiagnosed Illness Becomes Life Threatening

As is often the case with people who lack health insurance, a 62-year-old man sought care at our urgent care clinic with complaints of swallowing and breathing problems, only after they’d become severe. The volunteer physician ordered a CT scan of his neck, which revealed a malignant tumor on his esophagus. Because the patient has limited English proficiency, our bi-lingual Community Health Specialist was present throughout the entire process to interpret and explain the medical diagnosis to him.

Our Medical Director reached out for help from a local oncologist who volunteers through the Nassau Cares network. The physician examined the patient, and because of the severity of the mass, he was taken immediately to the University of Florida at Shands in Jacksonville where surgery was performed successfully the following day. The oncologist has agreed to continue to care for the patient and to start radiation treatment. Our Medical Director stated that if Barnabas personnel had not acted as decisively as they did, the man could have died within one month.

nassau cares
 
Nassau Cares is a network of specialty medical providers that serve uninsured Barnabas patients at no cost.

Stories of Hope

No Stone Unturned

A local man in need sought care at our medical clinic with complaints of stomach pain. Our staff referred him to Borland Groover Clinic, a gastroenterological practice that performed a colonoscopy at Baptist Medical Center Nassau. In preparation for surgery, he had a chest x-ray that was abnormal, so the physician ordered a chest CT, which revealed a probable metastatic process in the lung. He was referred to a local oncology practice, where a PET scan was performed, followed by a lung biopsy at Baptist.

All this very specialized care was completed in one month at no charge to the patient through the Nassau Cares program. Without the generosity and dedication from our network of compassionate medical providers, this man would face a much less hopeful outlook.

Baptist Healthnassau cares
 
Nassau Cares is a network of specialty medical providers that serve uninsured Barnabas patients at no cost.

Stories of Hope

Falling Through the Cracks

A developmentally disabled brother and sister sought assistance at our Hilliard office. Our case manager learned that for most of their adult lives they had lived in sub-standard housing with their elderly mother, who had recently been moved to a nursing home. The siblings subsequently had to move into an apartment and were in need of beds and bedding, which we provided through our New to You resale store. And as winter approached, we provided them with heavy coats.

The Department of Children and Families became involved with this vulnerable family as they were unaware that their only source of income, their mother’s Social Security funds, was being diverted from the family’s bank account directly to her nursing home. As with so many others who can fall through the cracks of the government safety net, Barnabas was able to provide rent assistance to keep the brother and sister in their apartment, enabling them to live in safety and with dignity.

fldeptofchildren

Stories of Hope

Determined Mother of Two

Barnabas helped a young mother (with two small children) whose husband left her without income or transportation. Our case manager assisted her with applications for housing assistance, transportation through the Council on Aging, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and a free Safelink wireless phone. Our case manager followed up with each agency to ensure assistance would be expedited.

The young mother obtained a job, earning only minimum wage. Our Bikes for Barnabas program provided her a bicycle that enabled her to travel to and from work, and Habitat for Humanity provided a ride-along cart so she could take her children to daycare. She is motivated and working hard toward becoming self-sufficient. Her family’s story is common – many people want to do for themselves, but they just need a helping hand to get started.

habitat

Stories of Hope

Best Dental Visit Ever

Here’s a thank you note from a very grateful woman served by our Dental program:

I wanted to thank from the bottom of my heart. From past bad experiences, I was terrified of going to the dentist. I had a toothache for months and hadn’t been able to afford dental care. Then a coworker told me about Barnabas. I was still scared to go, but I went – I knew I had to – and had the best dental experience ever.

Dr. Thomas and his staff were so nice, friendly and compassionate, and they both took their time to explain everything. He pulled my tooth in such a kind, patient way that I am going to come back to fix another tooth that's in jeopardy. Thank you for providing such a wonderful service at Barnabas Dental Clinic.

Stories of Hope

Help for Vulnerable Senior Citizens

Barnabas partners with the Council on Aging of Nassau County, which screens and selects elderly residents to be assisted with home repairs, then organizes the volunteers to complete the work. Here are three stories of senior citizens in tough circumstances, each of whom was helped through the generosity of such donors, partners and volunteers.

Raw sewage was seeping up into a Yulee woman’s bathtub and sink, caused by a blockage in the sewage pipe. As an emergency solution, her in-home caregiver took a shovel and broke the pipe leading into the septic tank, causing raw sewage to leak into the area of the yard with an enclosed dog pen. Volunteers repaired the septic tank, removed the sewage, and replaced the contaminated pipes. The woman no longer has to fear for her health and that of her pet companions.

A Callahan woman was left hopeless when her bedroom ceiling collapsed due to termite damage. Volunteers repaired the ceiling, making her home livable again.

A 92-year-old woman with a recent hip replacement was completely dependent on her hover-around for mobility, but she could not get in and out of her Fernandina Beach home that lacked a wheelchair ramp. Our Medical Director referred her to the Council on Aging, which was able to provide and install the much needed ramp so she could get in and out of her home safely.

Barnabas received a donation of $5,000 from First Presbyterian Church in Fernandina Beach to support Chaplain’s Fund projects for low income senior citizens. Such generous support makes our mission, and the invaluable help it provides senior citizens, possible.
 
 

Stories of Hope

Partnership Helps Fight Breast Cancer

A 50-year old woman sought care at the Barnabas Women’s Clinic and was diagnosed with breast cancer. She received radiation treatment (at no cost to her) from a local oncology practice that participates through the Nassau Cares program. Coordination of resources was also provided by Baptist Health, including those obtained through the Donna (Deegan) Foundation. The patient has responded well to the treatment and has had no recurrence of the cancer. Her life was saved, due in large part to Barnabas, the Donna Foundation, and our partners.

Baptist Healthnassau cares
 
Nassau Cares is a network of specialty medical providers that serve uninsured Barnabas patients at no cost.
 
donna

Stories of Hope

To Smile Again

A 40-year-old area woman who works with the public was unable to show her vibrant personality, afraid to smile due to the very poor condition of her teeth. With no insurance and unable to afford dental care, she sought help at Barnabas. She began saving every dollar she could, and combined with financial assistance provided by our generous donors, she was finally able to afford dentures that restored her smile and self-confidence. Seeing a beautiful smile for the first time in her adult life, she began to cry – tears of joy, that is.

Stories of Hope

Nassau Cares Finds and Fights Ovarian Cancer

An unemployed 50-year-old woman sought help at our Women’s Clinic with complaints of abdominal pain and bloating. Her husband, who was the sole source of family income, had recently divorced her, and she was left with large debts and no health insurance and with no place else to turn. Our nurse practitioner ordered an ultrasound and MRI, which revealed ovarian cancer. A local oncologist who participates in the Nassau Cares program treated her cancer, and she now has an opportunity to win her battle and resume her life fully.

Nassau Cares is a network of specialty medical providers that serve uninsured Barnabas patients at no cost. Also aided in part by a grant from the Women’s Giving Alliance.

Women’s Giving Alliance nassau cares

Stories of Hope

Wedding Ring Pawned for Food

An elderly couple who moved to Yulee had multiple health issues and used most of their monthly income to pay for the moving expenses, leaving them little money to afford even food. Unfortunately, the couple was unaware of local assistance resources and pawned a wedding ring for money to buy food. They sought assistance from Barnabas with their rent payment, and we also provided food and information on other local food resources.

Our budgeting counselor, an employee of the University of Florida Nassau County Extension program, helped them create a budget and apply for the Medicare Savings Program, then connected them to local physicians. They’re now stable and managing their expenses within their budget.

UF_IFAS

Stories of Hope

Toothache Affects School Children

A school bus driver living in Callahan arrived at Barnabas in tears with extreme pain from an infected tooth. Dedicated to her work, she continued to transport her students to school until she was in so much pain she was worried she was going to pass out at the wheel of the school bus. Her supervisor referred her to our dental program, and due to her very limited income, donations were given to help cover some of the costs of the exam, x-ray and extraction. She is now pain free and an example of how helping one person in need helps many others along the way.

Stories of Hope

Fueling Hope

Like many elderly residents on a limited income, a married couple didn’t receive enough income from their Social Security retirement to pay all their bills. They had an added burden of raising their two teenage grandchildren, receiving financial support for only one, and the wife was also sick with cancer. Fortunately, the desperate couple sought help from Barnabas, and we helped them purchase propane for their stove so they could cook meals, and we provided a gift certificate to the children for Christmas gifts. With this small yet significant help, life is just a little less challenging for this grateful family.