Patient Stories

Tracey’s Story

Tracey was in a dark place, mentally and physically, when her daughter suggested she might enjoy working at Hangers of Hope.

It was a random suggestion, but Tracey needed a job.

After being a caregiver for her mom for many years, she was devastated when her mom passed away. Her health had taken a back seat and she had no idea how her own health had suffered.

Tracey applied, and joined the Hangers of Hope team in late December, which led her on a path to hope and better health.

Tracey felt tired and sick often, but was hesitant to go to the doctor, since she did not have health insurance. Her co-workers encouraged her to seek help at Bethesda.

What she realized after her first appointment was life changing.

Tracey checking donated clothes for quality
Tracey with her co-workers at Hangers of Hope
Tracey de-linting a shirt

“I didn’t know it but my sugar level was 14.1,” she said. “It was so high I could have had a diabetic stroke. I came to work here every day and the girls took me in and treated me like family.”

At Bethesda, Tracey saw Dr. Shafer, one of the internal medicine volunteer physicians.

“He was really nice,” she said. “I don’t know why, but I was afraid he was going to look down on me.”

In reality, Dr. Shafer explained her high sugar levels in a way she could understand and prescribed medication that would help lower her sugar.

Tracey calls her life before Bethesda “a night and day kind of thing.”

“I am much better, healthier and continue to get better each day. The doctors there have educated me and that’s been a blessing.”

Tracey says her children were worried about her health for a long time and begged her not to give up on life. She missed things because she just did not have the energy to get out of bed.

“They wanted me around for the kids and the grandkids,” she said. “They have seen the progress and are so happy to see me here. God had his hand in it every step of the way and it just fell into place. The family atmosphere has made me more of a whole person.”

Tracey’s sugar at her last doctor’s appointment was 7.2, showing a significant increase in health.

“My thinking has gotten better and my hair has started to grow back too,” she said. “Because of the people here, my self-worth has gotten better and I am happier also. I don’t know how to describe it, but I am not in that dark place anymore.”

Tracey realizes it was depression, along with her high sugar, that affected her after the loss of her mom.

“Without Bethesda, I would have not gone to the doctor,” Tracey said. “It would not have been a good outcome. I am so thankful for all the people who donate; it’s a good and wonderful thing.”

The best part of Tracey’s story is that she is finally more comfortable leaving her house and was able to watch her Autistic grandson graduate high school this past month.

Her heart for Bethesda gives her even more joy now at her job at Hangers of Hope, and she could not imagine working anywhere else.

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