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Applications to the 2024 Restuccia Health Justice Fellowship are now open!
Sahida and her husband Arturo have been married for more than 20 years. For most of that time, Sahida’s husband worked non-stop. That is, until one day. As they headed out the door for their daily routines, Arturo began having convulsions.
When he was later diagnosed with epilepsy, it came as a total total shock to both of them. What was even more shocking, however, is when they learned they owed $8,000 for the hospital bill — and that the medicine Arturo needed to control his epilepsy was going to be very, very expensive.
The pair started to figure out how to manage their enormous medical bills. In their research, they encountered a community organization called Enlace Chicago, and learned they were eligible for financial aid. For Sahida, this much-needed support lit a fire within her.
“I started fighting for his rights,” Sahida said. “I went back to the hospital to make clear that we were eligible for financial aid, and they apologized.” Ultimately, the hospital eliminated their debt — which made it possible for Arturo to continue to see his neurologist for continued and essential care.
The experience motivated Sahida to become a health promoter. She is now helping other families to understand their rights and get the care they deserve.
Sahida said: “What the whole country should know is that health care is not a business. Health care is a right.”
Community Catalyst is proud to partner with Enlace Chicago on the journey to health justice.