The terror of waking up from an emergency C-section and not having my daughter in the room with me is something I will never forget. As my husband tried to calm me down, a doctor came in telling me that my baby girl was in the NICU. My husband and I were encouraged to release her from life support.
Giving up was not an option for us. Our daughter was fighting for her life. I knew she was going
to need an exceptional care team, but we had nowhere to turn.
We named her Milagro, Spanish for miracle, because that’s exactly what we needed.
I felt like my family had been forgotten by the health care system. In my low-income neighborhood, MediCal beneficiaries, like me and my family, have extremely limited options for health care providers. I needed a medical home I could trust—something that was new to me.
And shouldn’t every single person have that? Shouldn’t we live in a community where a person’s ZIP code and income don’t define the quality of medical care they have access to?
The moment I found AltaMed, I knew I could breathe easier. “Your daughter is a fighter,” Dr. Patel told me, “and she is going to make it.” Milagro was born with three holes in her heart and was unable to breathe or swallow on her own. Dr. Patel did everything in her power to ensure the best outcome for Milagro. She patiently explained every test and operation to me in ways that I could understand. And, with every procedure, Milagro’s health began to improve.
Our case manager helped us navigate the complicated web of insurance, referrals, appointments, paperwork and public services—many of which we hadn’t known anything about. After learning that Milagro was born with Down syndrome, she got right to work helping me enroll in assistance programs.
Bringing a child into this world on the brink of death was like being hurled into the ocean and not knowing how to swim. My AltaMed family was our life preserver.
Now, Milagro is a happy and loved 11 year-old girl. She enjoys dancing and visiting her friends at AltaMed. The support we receive is still just as strong as now it was when Milagro was an infant.
Over the years I have learned that below-average health care is something thousands of underserved families in our community accept because they have nowhere else to turn. Did you know that most low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Orange counties are experiencing a severe deficit of primary care providers? The lack of available physicians means our neighbors are going without the life-saving health services they need.
AltaMed dedicates itself to the most vulnerable neighborhoods in our community, where care is needed most. They bring clinics to areas that are avoided by other health care companies, who don’t see a profit there. As social-justice leaders who believe in exceptional care, AltaMed employs first-rate doctors and develops cutting-edge patient programs. They are able to do this because of the support they receive from donors who care.
I felt like my family had been forgotten by the health care system before AltaMed showed me that we matter. Don’t let this happen to another family in your community.
Please make a gift today. Invest in the belief that every person deserves outstanding health services, regardless of their ZIP code, income or insurance status.