‘It was terrifying’: Woman describes food insecurity, serious health issue

March 31, 2022

At the Food Bank of Delaware, we know that conversations with food-insecure people can be very humbling. While each person’s story is unique, lack of food is often just one of the stresses punctuating their daily lives. They are grateful for our services. Wilmington resident Christine expressed her gratitude not just for the food, but also for the home delivery service we offer to some areas of the state.

Christine explained that her primary care physician suggested she connect to the Food Bank.

A former nurse for years, she shares some regrets. “I was in the medical field, but I ignored symptoms for a long time. I was depressed. Then when COVID hit, we were short-staffed; it was stressful with people calling out.” In addition, she was dealing with a painful divorce at the same time.

She made the decision to leave her job, and she recognized that she didn’t feel well.

“I’m out of work, and I can’t work now. I’m a patient waiting for a liver transplant in Philly,” she said.

Before the diagnosis, Christine continued to ignore symptoms. “I didn’t have a PCP for years. It got to the point where I couldn’t breathe; I had a collapsed lung. I was in end stage liver failure, and I was in the hospital for two months,” Christine said.

She turned 40 in December.

Christine said she left the hospital weak and frail, due to significant weight loss. She now needs to gain weight in order to face a six-hour surgery. Although her medication impacted her sense of taste, she welcomes the weekly food box delivery.

And while she waits for the call informing her that a liver might be available, her treatments continue. Every week, Christine heads to the hospital. “They drain 3 liters of fluid off my lungs every week. I can breathe better, but I couldn’t speak. I look emaciated and jaundiced and 8 months pregnant due to fluid. I have a long road ahead of me,” she said.

“I was alone and depressed. I didn’t’ make the best decisions, and this is my outcome,” Christine explained.

“I have no vehicle. I’m dependent on my mom and sister to drive me. My field trip is going to the grocery store.”

“This – Food Bank’s delivery service – helps so much. When that box gets delivered, it helps so much,” Christine. “The Food Bank has been wonderful. This has been very terrifying. I reached out to several places, but there were no calls back. I feel sorry for people who don’t have advocates,” said Christine.

Visit www.fbd.org to learn more about services provided by the Food Bank of Delaware.

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