Gayle's story - Community Benefit
A former nurse and real estate agent, Gayle never had to worry about being without medical insurance. Aside from routine doctor visits, she was healthy and rarely needed medical attention.
But then a devastating divorce changed everything. Suddenly, Gayle was faced with extra bills, a mortgage payment - and no health insurance. Self-employed, she struggled to make ends meet.
Unfortunately, things continued to look bleak for Gayle. Months after her divorce, she started having unusual coughing and choking episodes. Seeking care at a local clinic, Gayle underwent a series of tests. That's when she discovered she had multiple tumors and needed surgery.
"I was very worried about how I was going to pay for the surgery. Most of my life, I've paid into the system, and suddenly I found myself as one of those people who falls through the cracks."
After her diagnosis, Gayle wrote a letter to Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, where the procedure would be performed. "I wanted to let them know about my situation. I was uninsured and was also helping to support my daughter and grandchild. I simply could not afford a pricey hospital bill but desperately needed this surgery."
That's when Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa came to her rescue. Through its charity care program, the hospital covered the majority of her $36,000 medical bill. Today, after a successful surgery, Gayle has regained her health.
"I'm so incredibly thankful for the financial support and good care I received at Sutter Santa Rosa. This was a blessing. It restored my hope and more importantly made me healthy."