Patient Stories

Meet Joyce: Her Glass is Half Full, Never Half Empty

After a broken ankle led Joyce to be out of work in Atlanta where she had lived for 10 years, she lost everything - her apartment, her car, and most of her belongings. With a plane ticket paid for by a local ministry, Joyce returned to her native Boston. She moved in with her sister, but after only a week her sister was evicted from her apartment. With no place to go and still recovering from her injury and ankle surgery, Joyce came to the Barbara McInnis House. She recuperated for a month and when she was stable, Joyce stayed at a shelter until her next ankle surgery, which required a 4-month recovery at the McInnis House. During this second stay, Joyce's primary care provider at BHCHP referred her for a mammogram, leading to a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment with radiation and chemotherapy. In need of some good news, Joyce was approved for a single-room occupancy unit and when she was discharged from the McInnis House, she moved into her own home. Not long after, however, Joyce was diagnosed with a uterine abscess which led to a hysterectomy. In addition to helping arrange transportation to medical appointments, Joyce's case manager secured a donated medical bed and had it delivered to Joyce's room so that she could recover at home after this most recent surgery.
Despite so many set-backs, a life threatening diagnosis, multiple surgeries and living with diabetes, Joyce is humble and grateful for what she does have and she is intentional about prayer and reflection and looks at her life as a "glass half full, not half empty." Joyce is also a woman with a mission. In October she graduated from STRIVE, a six-week job training and readiness program, and she is now taking a computer class to build her skills. She is actively applying for jobs and hopes to go to school for accounting in the near future. She continues to get her health care and case management at BHCHP and was recently here for a dental appointment, despite being nervous about having dental work done. Joyce keeps busy with physical therapy, church, and arts and crafts and she spent Thanksgiving helping cook for her housing program and the elderly. Go Joyce!