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After a stroke left Joe Espinosa in a challenging situation without medical insurance, a friend gave him hope by guiding him to Volunteers in Medicine (VIM).

“I was in need of a doctor. You know, I had never been to the doctor, I was never sick. I thought I was healthy,” Joe said.

While his stroke was an unexpected obstacle, Joe said he sees it as a second chance at life.

What could have been a debilitating circumstance is now an opportunity for God to help Joe to take control of his health through VIM’s caring staff and volunteers.

“They’ve been there for me,” he said. “I feel blessed coming to Volunteers in Medicine.”

VIM works to treat the whole person by helping patients understand their health condition, provide primary care, equip patients to make healthy lifestyle choices and connect them with specialists, when needed.

Although he initially visited the clinic for care following his stroke, the staff and volunteers at VIM continue to walk alongside him in all areas of his health journey.

Since coming to VIM, Joe said he discovered he has diabetes and is now receiving care for this new diagnosis. He was even referred to a specialist for some additional procedures. He said he has also received care from VIM’s volunteer cardiologist and neurologist.

Joe is further improving his overall wellness by focusing on his oral health. Through VIM’s dental program he has had tooth extractions and is now on a regular cleaning schedule.

“I’m able to smile without having my teeth hurt. You know, I’m able to eat now. I was chewing through the front because my teeth in the back were hurting me. It brings me a lot of comfort,” he said.

Through tears of gratitude, Joe exclaimed his thankfulness for VIM’s staff and volunteers. He explained how if he is able to join the workforce again one day, he would like to give back.

“They are amazing, I mean the whole staff. Just walking in, it’s positive. I love going there,” he said.