North Shore Support Program Helps Resident Facing Health Crises

When Shelly first came to Volunteers of America's North Shore office, she was newly diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis C. She was very sick and very tired, as she had been acting as the sole caregiver for her ex-husband. He was experiencing final stages of AIDS, along with kidney failure, which required dialysis treatments three times per week. He had serious problems with mobility and activities of daily living.

Shelly, with a master's degree in social work, found herself in need of help from others. She reached out to the Health Services Support program of Volunteers of America Greater New Orleans, seeking assistance with medical care. Volunteers of America immediately assigned Shelly a case manager who helped her get an appointment for her HIV and hepatitis C. The next step was to help her come to terms with her illness. While her family was aware of her ex-husband's diagnosis, she did not want to burden her family with her own.

Shelly's case manager became her sole support through several medical procedures and treatments. To fill in the gaps in her circumstances, she met with a psychiatrist for anxiety and depression and a local HIV-support group. Shelly said Volunteers of America's help and the monthly group meetings became instrumental in providing the additional reinforcement she needed to move forward.

After her ex-husband passed away several years ago, Shelly finally felt like she could concentrate on her own well-being.

Through her efforts and the advice of her doctors and the Health Services Support case management staff, Shelly is thriving. She is able to pay her bills and live comfortably. She loves spending time with her children and grandchildren, exercising and attending the HIV-support group that changed her life years ago.

Because of your kindness, Shelly now feels like she is a productive member of society and an active member of her community.