Chest pain and other complications led Joey to the emergency room thinking it might be COVID related. A series of tests led to surgery and the implanting of a Left Ventricular Assist Device, or LVAD. Throughout the day he carries a battery pack and at night plugs himself into the wall outlet by his bed.
“To anyone with a good heart:
It was the biggest and best life change that I could adapt to at the Center for Respite Care. Before I walked through those elevator doors broken, afraid, and strange; not only to others but to myself as well. I felt defeated. I felt that no one even seemed to notice me missing. The combined hard work of the case management team whose doors were always open for me not only gave me the resources to prove my identity but gave me back a feeling of a new me.
With that, I took the mindset that my disability doesn’t have to be a handicap. The constant care and supervision of the medical staff kept me safe, clean, and in a stress–free environment while I recovered. Today, I’m alive, happy, and thriving. I’m living my best life, as I wait for the possibility of a donor heart.”
Joey returned to share his story with the Center’s clients. See the photo above on the right.
From the Center’s Medical Recovery Manager, Kay Burlew:
“The best part of my job is when the clients recognize that they are making their own difference – that they can start being a part of their own solution, and not a part of their own problem. I love watching them become themselves again. They recognize that it is in them. That they can do it.”