Carlos* seriously injured himself at work on a Friday. He had cut himself badly. The gash was deep and he lost a tremendous amount of blood. Carlos, like many recent immigrants, was afraid to go to the emergency room. Over the weekend, he became increasingly ill. Finally, he arrived at La Clínica del Pueblo on Monday. Providers at La Clínica found that he had a very serious infection, tendon damage, and a loss of function in his arm. He was so sick that if he had not come to La Clínica for antibiotics and medical treatment when he did, he very likely would have died.
Carlos was frightened away from the emergency room because he knew he would never be able to pay the bill that was sure to come after he sought care. Thinking of his family and not wanting to increase their financial strain, he chose to forgo the urgent treatment that he needed. Like many immigrants, he was uninsured, very poor, and afraid. Luckily Carlos was encouraged to come to La Clinica del Pueblo, a safe space where he received compassionate, culturally competent care, regardless of his ability to pay.
*Name changed to protect patient's identity