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Hernia Surgery Changes a Family’s Future

A Project Access Tarrant County Patient Spotlight

By Allison Howard

“Patricia” has one main goal in life: to love and provide for her three young children. But when the single mother suffered from a painful umbilical hernia, it caused so much physical stress on her body that she was unable to work. And though she still trudged through family activities, the pain made her emotionally distant. Everything important to her was being compromised, and she worried about their future – especially that of her seven-year-old, who has special needs.

“The pain was bearable in the beginning, but as time went on it was getting worse, and my belly button was sticking out,” Patricia says. “I fortunately did not have to go to the ED, but I did resort to pain medication for relief.”

She knew continually taking pain medicine was not a good long-term option, so Patricia went to Mission Arlington for treatment, thinking she might have ovarian cysts. Instead, she found out about the hernia and that she would need surgery. In that moment, she was overwhelmed by fear.

“I did not have the money,” she says. “And who would take care of my kids? How would they be provided for? A lot of thoughts came racing through my mind.” 

Then Patricia was connected to Project Access, and everything began to change. She realized she wouldn’t face the financial avalanche of paying for a surgery she couldn’t afford, and she was going to finally get help for the pain that was holding back every part of her life.

Patricia was connected to Project Access volunteer Dr. Mohamad Saad, who agreed that she needed surgery. He performed it at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, and anesthesia was provided by U.S. Anesthesia Partners – Arlington Division.

Patricia with Dr. Saad

Now as Patricia heals from the hernia repair, she tries to put the impact into words.

 “The surgery was done perfectly,” she says. “I don’t have any pain anymore, and when I have my menstrual cycle, it is normal. It is no longer heavy or overbearing. I can do anything now; I feel amazing!”

She thanks God for using the doctors and Project Access to provide much-needed care and prays that all who helped continue to be rewarded for their service. “I will always be grateful for everything Dr. Saad has done,” Patricia says. “I am so thankful for the support I received since day one and for guiding me through the process. I would not be where I am now without PATC.”

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