Kansas Stories: Carolyn

Carolyn Thomas was uninsured for a significant portion of her children’s adolescence. Fortunately, those children were able to be covered by Medicaid. She is a single mother who worked in warehouses to earn a living, where she developed Achilles tendinitis. This made working long shifts at the warehouse immensely difficult.

After working nine straight days on her own shifts and covering co-workers’ shifts, Carolyn’s legs buckled when she got out of bed and she fell. Carolyn was alone in the house and could not get up for over a day. That lasted until her daughter suspected something was wrong and came over to Carolyn’s apartment to check on her mother. Carolyn delayed treatment for nine days, using a chair as a walker and fighting through intense pain, because she was uninsured and unable to pay a high emergency room bill.

After her accident, Carolyn began the process of applying for disability. She was without any income for 34 months, but she now has coverage through Medicaid. This enabled her to go to physical therapy, which helped her get back to walking normally.

Medicaid has also covered Carolyn’s mental health therapy. Carolyn’s son was murdered, and the trauma of that event has been a challenge to overcome. Her outlook has improved through individual and group therapy.

Carolyn is committed to fighting the stigma of laziness that comes along with being on disability or workers’ compensation. Carolyn is going to college to earn a degree and re-enter the workforce despite her nagging injury and trauma because she wants to earn more money and contribute all she can to her community.

Do you or someone you know have a health insurance story to share? Email marissa@expandkancare.com.