Patient Story: “Luis”

“Luis” hadn’t been feeling like himself. Working as a cook was hard on his body, but he had a sense that something else was going on. His wife was expecting their first child, and this had given Luis a newfound appreciation for the interconnectedness of his life and the lives of those who depend — and would soon come to depend — on him.

He shared his concerns with a co-worker who happened to be a patient at Arlington Free Clinic and soon Luis had access to comprehensive healthcare for the first time in years. After learning he had diabetes and high cholesterol, and gaining free access via AFC to the medications, education, and other resources needed to manage these conditions, he began to feel much better! But years in the kitchen had done a number on his feet. AFC called upon Edward Pozarny, DPM, a local podiatrist who generously provided two pro bono foot surgeries this year, getting Luis back to work — and to chasing after his daughter — pain free!

Luis recently registered his daughter for pre-k at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Reflecting on his health journey that began before she was even born, he shared how much he has come to value himself and his well-being since taking charge of his health: “if I’m good, then she and her mother are good — and so are my elderly father and my brother back home in Guatemala.” AFC has a responsibility to patients like Luis who are themselves shouldering great responsibility in their families and throughout the community every day.

Story from our 2023 Annual Report. Read more about AFC’s commitment to ethical storytelling here.