We met Darryl 15 years ago, when he first became our patient at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, for a torn ligament in his knee.
“The care here was truly wonderful,” he says now. “I had never received care here before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I got here I was made to feel comfortable and welcome.” “The providers…the case workers, the nurses, they’re all fantastic. This is a two thumbs up program.” Darryl continues. The surgical mask covers most of his face, but every smile reaches his eyes.
Last year, Darryl was diagnosed with prostate cancer and has been receiving care at our Stacy Kirkpatrick House while enduring his cancer treatments, “I love staying here,” he says, “They always welcome me back with open arms.” During his cancer treatments, he noted that he would often hear a bell ring. “I wondered what was up with the bell,” he said, “so one day, I asked.” The bell, it turns out, signifies someone’s last cancer treatment. With encouragement from his clinicians, Darryl was determined to ring the bell. More recently, Darryl’s cancer was complicated when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and needed to be hospitalized.
After discharge, Darryl came to our Barbara McInnis House COVID ward and was under the care of Dr. Dave Munson. Once fully recovered from COVID-19, he returned to his room at our Stacy Kirkpatrick House to resume his treatment. “COVID is very scary,” he says, “A lot of people were very, very sick. But the doctors and nurses care very much.” Through all of this continuity of care, Darryl was so grateful and remained optimistic. "Darryl has shown a great deal of perseverance this year, having had to contend with a number of acute medical conditions as well as the loss of an important family member," says Carolyn Abbanat, NP, the Site Director at our Stacy Kirkpatrick House, "Despite all of this he remains kind, quick to smile, and a support for those around him. He’s a pleasure to have as a patient and frequently brings positivity to the environment." A few weeks ago, after Darryl completed his cancer treatment… “I rang that bell,” he says with a smile.