Jermaine is 48 and lives in Elaine, AR. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He had to undergo surgery and his left kidney had to be removed. Due to chronic kidney disease and Asthma, Jermaine became eligible for disability.
Jermaine currently goes to Dialysis three times a week in Helena for four hours for each visit. He was fitted with an Arteriovenous (AV) fistula for optimal blood flow and to prevent infection. Jermaine had his AV placed by a Nephrologist in Memphis. Now, he must regularly go to Memphis for routine checkups related to it. Eventually, he will have another procedure done in Memphis, to remove the AV and have it replaced with another type of fistula.
Before becoming eligible for disability, medications for his kidney disease were totaling $800-$900 a month. Jermaine could not afford to purchase a full prescription and only bought a few tablets at a time. Since becoming eligible for disability, he can now purchase all prescribed prescriptions for his kidney disease and Asthma. Although he may occasionally pay $40-$80 a month for some prescriptions, he is thankful that these totals are nowhere near what he paid before having Medicaid.
The trips to Memphis and Dialysis three times a week often leaves Jermaine exhausted! He uses Medicaid Transportation, but because the van drops off other patients, it can take hours for him to get to and from his home in Elaine. After at least four hours in Dialysis, and more than two hours in the van, by the time he returns home, he is unable to do anything but rest. Chores that need to be done around the house are out of the question, he is too tired and weak by the day's end.
Having Medicaid relieves the financial burden of having to pay for treatment. His only wish is that he had other means of transportation to Helena and Memphis. Experiencing complete daily exhaustion does not permit any time for family, fun, or other tasks. Nonetheless, he remains grateful for at least having medical treatment for a disease that could have ended his life.
Stock Image Credit: https://www.istockphoto.com/illustrations/kidney-cancer-ribbon