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Ron Wamsley worked from the time he was 15 years old. He worked his way through school and into a career in accounting, eventually becoming a systems analyst and controller for a local firm. A massive heart attack stopped his career in its tracks.
“Things went downhill after that,” says Ron. “My health interfered with my ability to do my job, and I had more health problems than I realized.”
He tried working in real estate after his heart attack, but as an independent agent, he was responsible for his own health insurance. With multiple chronic illnesses in addition to his heart condition, he found that he could not afford an insurance plan or the medications he needed.
“I have eight different medications I need to be on for various conditions,” says Ron. “One of my medications costs $300 a month. I just couldn’t afford that. I need to put food on the table and pay my electric bills too.”
For a time he was eligible for Medicaid, but a recent increase in his Social Security disability income put him just over the eligibility threshold. He will not be eligible for Medicare until October. A friend told him that North Coast Health could help him through the transition period and beyond.
“Since I’ve been a patient at North Coast Health, I’ve been treated better than I ever was by any doctor when I was on Medicaid,” says Ron. “Before, I was made to feel like I was worthless. At North Coast, everyone is terrific. They’re very knowledgeable and they really monitor my health. They’ve helped me get the medications I need to stay alive.”
Ron recently suffered an optic nerve stroke, which caused partial loss of vision in one eye and has obliterated any hope of returning to work. North Coast Health referred him to a retinal specialist, where he learned that his chronic illnesses put him at risk for further vision loss.
“I’m really worried that something is going to go wrong with the other eye, and I’m going to be sunk,” says Ron. “They say that God doesn’t throw more at you than you can deal with. I guess I have big shoulders.”