Our Story is You | Jose Dueñas

Transcript

Jose Dueñas, Oakland
I’m Jose Dueñas...and this is my story.

Jose Dueñas, via translator
I worked for a long time in this country. I worked first in the fields for six years, and then I worked for 23 years at Safeway. It wasn’t until the age of 58 that I started to feel sick. I started to feel bad over here [stomach area], and I thought that maybe it was some cookies with milk that I had. The pain was so strong that I had to ask my daughter to take me to the emergency room at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. The doctors told me it was my gallbladder.

Veronica Cristerna, Jose’s Daughter
When we got to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, I was a little concerned because my father didn’t have insurance. So I walked up to the reception area and basically gave them all my credit cards. And they looked at me and kind of pushed the credit cards aside and said, “Don’t worry about that right now. The most important thing is to get your father treated immediately.”

Jose Dueñas, via translator
When I woke up, they were saying, “Mr. Dueñas, Mr. Dueñas. The surgery is over.” And then I woke up and I didn’t have the pain anymore. And I said, “Thank you! Thank you! I don’t have the pain anymore!”

Veronica Cristerna
When the hospital wrote off the whole $47,000 bill, it was a relief to my dad that he didn’t have to refinance his home to pay this bill.

Jose Dueñas, via translator
When they told me that I qualified for charity care, I felt really happy, really content. I couldn’t believe it. Now that I have my health back, I can enjoy my grandkids. I can come back here to the yard and pick up some lemons. And I can do that because it doesn’t hurt anymore.

Veronica Cristerna
It’s very important for us to have my father around because he’s our rock. He’s the rock of the family—he keeps us together. He passes on his traditions to us.

Jose Dueñas, via translator
I’m Jose Dueñas...and this is my story.