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Story Collective

Now is your chance to tell your own story about how you use Medicaid to keep you and your family healthy.



Iola, a school bus driver and an advocate for the preservation of the Marvell Elaine School District, which was recently taken over by the State of Arkansas and allowed to exist under the recently enacted LEARNS Act is a survivor.  In 2020, she contacted COVID.  She was in the critical care unit for almost four weeks.  Iola had pneumonia in both lungs and was on a ventilator. She says that she survived this mentally and spiritually by making up songs to sing to herself all while crying and praying.  In addition to being admitted to the hospital for COVID, Iola has had hospital admissions for Strep and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.  During the admission for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, she did not recognize any of her family members or friends. She could not speak.  She could only wave her hands.  She survived each of these chronic conditions and is here to give testimony as to her survival, strength and endurance. 

After COVID, she suffered a blood clot in her leg.  Her legs swell, she has Shortness of Breath, Asthma and fluid retention.  There are times when her doctor increases her fluid medication to reduce the swelling and fluid retention.  Driving a school bus five days a week, which she has done for thirty-four years, is certainly not conducive to leg swelling.  Iola is considering a thigh girdle which will assist in decreasing the swelling in her legs and improve circulation. 

In addition to her other medical conditions, she has a Keloid-like growth on her thigh.  Her concern is that the girdle may irritate the growth and she is scheduled to see a Dermatologist. Iola says that without Medicaid she would not be able to afford her medications, doctors' visits or the hospital admissions.  She would have been left with a tremendous amount of debt if she had to pay for the admissions.  A school bus driver’s salary is certainly not enough to pay for hospital debts or the medications that she must take daily. 

Iola a survivor of chronic medical conditions, an advocate for the Marvell-Elaine School District, her community and the children of the community is the epitome of life in the Delta for a woman who survives on her faith and commitment. 



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