Luckily it appears it was only a scare, possibly from scar tissue from her colon cancer surgery, though she will need follow- up tests to determine the cause of her chronic pain and abnormal bleeding. Her Medicaid healthcare covered her emergency room visit, specialist consultations and the diagnostic tests she needed to assure her health was secure. For now.
Jaime needs to stay healthy to help support her family. She knows she’s at higher risk because of her family’s history of cancer. She also wants to urge others to get life-saving annual exams and screening tests, like mammograms and colonoscopies. Without access to affordable healthcare, however, she knows it's out of reach for many.
“Expanding Medicaid in Florida will save lives,” Jaime says. “Why wouldn’t Florida officials want to do that?”
Her medical struggles have inspired her to return to school to get a degree in healthcare management. She hopes her own experiences and frustrations as a patient will make her more empathetic to others’ struggles in the healthcare system, including discrimination by one physician who was dismissive of her pain.
“As a low-income single mother I’ve had to advocate for myself, and my healthcare, for too long,” Jaime says. “There has to be a change.”