Mary Colantuoni was grieving over the death of her son who died from a medication allergy. It seemed as if she had nowhere to go and life was getting hard.
Colantuoni visited the Martin County Health Department (MCHD) and explained her recent struggles. She needed someone to speak with about losing her son and had physical health issues as well. The MCHD referred her to Volunteers in Medicine Clinic in Stuart and she immediately sought care.
She had her first appointment with William Bethea, MD, a volunteer primary care provider, who gave her an extensive history and physical examination. He then referred her to a GI specialist who scheduled a colonoscopy. He removed five cancerous polyps and scheduled a CT scan of her lungs, mammogram, and thankfully all results were negative. VIM’s partnership with Martin Health System provided specialty care at no charge to Mary.
“I’m happy they found the polyps because they were cancerous. If they would have grown and stayed there, I would have died from colon cancer. When I needed to have this done, I didn’t have any resources, but when I came to VIM I was able to get it done,” said Colantuoni. She credits Dr. Bethea for the overall improvement of her health. “He’s an angel.”
Mary was still coping with the loss of her son as she was his caretaker after he survived a brain injury. VIM referred her to one of their volunteer psychotherapist, Joe Ann Demore, LMHC, and she is starting to feel much better. Colantuoni is happy to be a patient at VIM, she says without them she wouldn’t know what to do.
Three days out of the week, Colantuoni drives to West Palm Beach to take care of her mother. She likes to read books and stays active in her church.
The VIM Clinic offers free comprehensive medical care to uninsured Martin County residents. VIM has more than 100 volunteers and a small paid staff. It’s a self-funded non-profit organization that’s been in existence for 22 years. For additional information, call 772-463-4128 or visit vimclinic.net.