I am very grateful for the life I’ve been given. I stayed on the right path as a young person and never fell into drugs or alcohol. But later in life when my marriage dissolved, I turned to drugs so that I could cope with the pain. Eventually, I began using IV drugs and by the time I stopped, the damage had already been done.
In 2003, I found out that I had contracted hepatitis C and that I was in the early stages of liver cirrhosis. I thought it was the end of everything and that my life was pretty much over. I went to several hospitals but I always felt like just a number. I also didn’t want the side effects from the hep C medications that were available at the time. My mom became very concerned when the pain in my liver started to get worse. She found the John Bell Health Center on the internet and encouraged me to call. When I finally called, I was given an appointment right away. They immediately put me on the list for a new medication that completely cures hepatitis C without the side effects. I finished the medication regimen and now my body is hep C free.
I get a warm feeling inside when I go to John Bell. They always take the time to check in on me and help with more than just medical care. When I lost my fiancé, the people at John Bell were there to help. They called me right away to see how I was doing and they helped connect me with other services. Having that kind of support feels great. It feels like a security blanket to have people on your side that really care. Even though I am only one patient out of hundreds, the people at John Bell go out of their way to give me all the time I need. I recommend the clinic to everyone I meet because it changed my life. Before I went to John Bell, I didn’t know anything about hepatitis C or liver cirrhosis. They helped to educate me so that I know how to care for my body in the best way possible.
I am not sure which direction I want to go in my future, but I know that I want to put more of an emphasis on life. It is so fragile and can be gone in an instant. I am a person who is built on positivity and momentum. It’s not always easy, but things just seem to fall into place when you are positive.
- Albert Buck