Patient Stories
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Hospital Hill
Lakewood
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TruFaces

Fundamental Accessible Compassionate Everyday Services – that’s the meaning of TruFaces, the direct patient care fund at TMC.  More than a means of providing care to those without the ability to pay, TruFACES is a lifeline for children, families and individuals in our community who need hope as much as they need help.  

Thankfully, the mission of TMC is strong:  everyone receives the highest quality of care.  At TMC we care for those with the best insurance, as well as those with no insurance.  

In fact, TMC consistently provides about $120 million in uncompensated care each year to patients in need.  With limited access to healthcare, patients forego routine and preventative care.  Unfortunately, these patients often arrive at our doors in a medical crisis.  



TruFACES – Stories of Compassion, Hope and Healing

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Caryn’s Story
Despite having lived in the neighborhood for years, Caryn did not have a reason to visit TMC until the day her husband, a police officer, was involved in an accident.  He was taken to TMC’s renowned Level 1 Emergency Department where he received excellent care. 

After that experience, Truman became Caryn’s hospital of choice.   She calls it Kansas City’s unsung hero.   Caryn likes the sense of community at TMC and developed relationships here that carried her through difficult times.   Beyond the excellent service, Caryn chooses Truman because it is an academic medical center.  She enjoys the collaborative role she is able to play in her own health care. 

Caryn calls TMC a chameleon, referring its service to all people, regardless of what language they speak or their ability to pay.  After her husband passed away, Caryn had a hard time finding private insurance due to a preexisting condition, in her case a previous stroke.   Thankfully, Truman provides a safety net for just such people. 

“Without Truman, a sizable portion of our community would have nowhere to turn,” states Caryn.   “Truman is there for us when we need it most.”  Share a gift for the TruFACES Direct Patient Care Fund.

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Mike’s Story
Living in Eastern Jackson County, Mike had several opportunities to visit TMC Lakewood.  He had always been impressed with the hospital, and so last April when he started to show symptoms that required a visit to the ED, TMC Lakewood became his hospital of choice.  
Mike’s doctor ordered tests that led to the discovery of a tumor in his bladder.  Mike began treatment immediately and is pleased that one-year later, his tumor has not returned.  Unfortunately, this was not  the only medical issue Mike had to deal with.  Last year, he suffered a heart attack.  He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, and a stint was put in his heart.  

As soon as he was able, Mike found his way to TMC Hospital Hill’s state-of-the-art cardiac rehab facility.  Mike likes the building and the staff, but – most importantly – he is confident that the quality of the care he receives at TMC is better than at other hospitals.  Mike’s heart is getting stronger every day, as is his passion for TMC.  Share a gift for the TruFACES Direct Patient Care Fund.

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Charles’ story
Charles worked for the United States Postal Service for 27 years before losing his job.  He was devastated by the job loss but decided to use this time to follow a dream.  For more than a decade, Charles wanted to learn sign language, and so he decided to enroll in a program.  In addition to taking classes, Charles found two part time jobs.  The work was fine, but being a part time employee meant he was not eligible for benefits.  Like many people without health insurance, Charles did not seek preventive care and ended up in the emergency department in need of a stint in his heart. 

Thanks to his strong work ethic and support of the TMC staff, Charles is on the road to recovery.  While continuing to hold a part time job, Charles attends cardiac rehab three days each week and is on track to graduate with his degree in American Sign Language. 

As a foster parent, Charles hopes to foster deaf children, and he’s also looking for ways to bring his passion for sports to the hearing impaired community.  Whatever he does, Charles credits Truman with his health and making it possible for him to pursue his dreams.   Share a gift for the TruFACES Direct Patient Care Fund.

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Joyce’s Story
When Joyce arrived at the TMC Emergency department, she thought she had pneumonia.  Suffering for weeks, Joyce tried to ignore her symptoms – partly because she did not have insurance and partly because she did not have time.  Joyce is a full-time caregiver to her husband, a thoracic cancer survivor, thanks to the treatment he received at TMC.  

During this time, Joyce became familiar with TMC and impressed with the level of care and service her husband received.  So, years later, Joyce knew where to turn for her own healthcare needs.  After being admitted to the ED, an x-ray showed that Joyce was actually suffering from heart issues that caused her lungs to fill with fluid, requiring a stint.  Joyce still cares for her husband, but she’s also learning to take care of herself.  She walks as much as possible and attends cardiac rehab three days a week at TMC.  She has yet to miss a single session in more than three months.  Joyce believes that Truman Medical Centers is the reason she and her husband are alive today, and she’s making the most out of every moment.  Share a gift for the TruFACES Direct Patient Care Fund.

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Tom’s Story
Like many of TMC’s patients, Tom was not born in America.  His family fled to the U.S.  during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and eventually made their way to Kansas City.  Tom received his business degree from USC and moved back to Missouri to work as a credit manager.  For more than twenty years Tom worked in his stressful, highly demanding job until 1998 when he suffered a heart attack. 
January 28 – the day of his surgery – was a turning point.  On that day Tom quit smoking, and since then has committed to improving his health through regular exercise in cardiac rehab at TMC.  Tom initially turned to TMC because of its commitment to serve all persons, regardless of the ability to pay.  The social worker assigned to work with Tom was able to help him qualify for Medicaid, which helped pay for special diabetic shoes and glasses he required, in addition to his rehab. 

Tom finished rehab on June 2 – the same day he turned 59.  Soon, he’ll be back on the job search, looking for work to support himself and his wife.  Tom is ready for that day and is grateful for the physical, mental, spiritual and financial support he received at TMC.  Share a gift for the TruFACES Direct Patient Care Fund.

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Toni’s Story
Toni had a history of fibroid tumors in her breast.  First diagnosed when she was 25, Toni began getting mammograms every few years.  Insurance covered the cost of regular screenings, until at the age of 41 she learned she was no longer eligible.  Toni has one daughter of her own, but after her sister died during childbirth, she became the ward to her newborn twin nephews and two other children.  Because of the survivor benefits she was receiving, Toni no longer qualified for Medicaid. 

Toni stopped receiving the regular screenings, and her small tumor began to grow.  After ignoring it long enough, Toni decided to turn to TMC for help.  In August 2007, Toni was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Her  treatment at TMC included surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.  She thanks the staff at TMC for helping her become a cancer survivor and for giving her the gift of restored health to be a mother to her children.  Share a gift for the TruFACES Direct Patient Care Fund.

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Raul’s Story
Raul ended up in the hospital May of last year with what he thought was a heart attack.  He was eventually diagnosed with a panic attack, which resulted from stress after losing his job during the recession.  He was referred to Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health and began treatment that same month.  

Within two months, Raul was ready to work again.  One of TMC Behavioral Health’s Employment Specialists helped him to learn of a culinary position through the New Frontiers program.  Raul’s former experience working in a kitchen at a retirement home made him a great fit for the job, and he was hired.  Raul has been working as a kitchen assistant for 7 months now.  He is grateful for TMC and glad to be able to give back as an employee.  Share a gift for the TruFACES Direct Patient Care Fund.