Married for 30 years, John and Helen Britt have seen their share of dark days. From Illinois to Nebraska to Indiana, and a separation of six years due to family responsibilities, they now live together with Helen’s elderly mother and physically challenged sister in Muncie.
Both are in their fifties. Both are out of work. Both are diabetics with multiple other health issues. Helen has had surgery for ovarian cancer. Due to a horrific infection which was localized to the ball of his foot, John’s foot bones have been replaced with cadaver bones.
Four-pack-a-day smokers for more than a quarter of a century, John and Helen found they could no longer afford to smoke. They had to make the choice between cigarettes or gas for their truck. They met with Sally Myers, Health Educator, at Open Door Health Services (ODHS) in Muncie, IN. They began using patches and oral medication. Together, they quit smoking on March 18, 2011.
“Sally Myers is a great person. It was the picture in her office that made an impression. The picture was of a woman who looked on the outside the way lungs would look on the inside following several years of smoking…disgusting,” Helen said.
John and Helen have also worked with Linda Adams at ODHS to receive assistance with their prescription medications, including insulin.
John has been a truck driver most of his working life. Helen worked as the director of housekeeping for a hotel chain. Sitting next to each other, they both admitted having trouble asking for help. “Somebody helped my husband, and they have been helping him ever since,” exclaimed Helen.
Wanting to pay their own way, the economic future does not look bright for the Britts. There is no work in Muncie according to John, and they have no savings. Due to their several hundred thousand dollars in debt from past medical expenses even luxuries like eating out are unaffordable.
“Everyone [at Open Door Health Services] is friendly and has a smile on their face…even if they are busy,” said John. “We are not treated like a number, but like a real human being. We could not ask for a better place than Open Door Health Services.”Print this story