Author: Melanie Dalton, Lead Community Development Manager, Columbia SC

Living with Epilepsy and Sarcoidosis has been a way of life for Jacintha for as long as she can remember. “I had been seizure free for 2 years until last week” Jacintha said as we drove from her home to a new doctor for further help with Sarcoidosis, a rare disease, causing collections of inflammatory cells that form clumps in lungs, skin, and lymph nodes. Jacintha, a widow, and grandmother of 6, is unable to drive and finding reliable and safe transportation is a big challenge.

“I have never driven due to my epilepsy. My children and their spouses are working and are not available and I am frustrated with Medicaid services. I waited to be picked up from 10:00am until 3:00pm a few weeks ago. I was also in a head-on collision accident about 20 years ago which has left me with PTSD and I’m afraid of driving on the interstate”, she said.

Access to Care was recommended to Jacintha by her Case Manager at Prisma Health. “I was hesitant initially because many of these kinds of services don’t show up on time and are not safety conscious”, she said. “But Jayson is different, he has always been on time, and I am comfortable with him. He listened to my request and has never taken me on the interstate. A couple of weeks ago there was an accident ahead of us and he was so patient, he didn’t get irate, and he put our safety first. He is efficient and reliable. His experiences as a driver and a nurse speak for themselves.

Jayson Edra, Feonix Access to Care Driver
Jayson Edra, Feonix Access to Care Driver

As she was getting out of the Access to Care van, we bid Jacintha a safe and successful appointment with her new doctor and let her know that Jayson would return for her on time, later in the afternoon. “I try to put myself in their shoes, they need my help, and helping people is in my heart. Driving with Access to Care gives me the opportunity to fulfill my own mission every day”, said Jayson.

If you are interested in learning more about the Access to Care program, that we operate in partnership with The COMET public transit agency, please contact us at [email protected]  We’d love to share more about the work we do and impact we’re having in the community.