To daylight from darkness

Patients life changing story

Carl Lowe served as a correctional officer for 10 years in LaGrange, Kentucky. The day after performing a routine inmate move, he started to feel a tingling sensation in his toes and was dropping his keys. Thinking he had pulled a muscle in his back during the move, he took a few days off to rest and recover, making an appointment with a chiropractor in the meantime.

However, just two days after the onset of symptoms, Lowe’s hands and feet felt like they were in a pit of fire. His chiropractor recognized that something more serious was going on and referred him to a specialist, who sent him to Norton Brownsboro Hospital. Once at Norton Brownsboro Hospital, Lowe was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).

CIDP is a neurological disorder that causes progressive weakness and impaired function in the legs and arms. Lowe had to retire and file for disability after his diagnosis.

“I lost my health. I lost my career, my insurance, my hobbies,” Lowe said. “I was an avid hiker and outdoorsman. It ruined my life, turned it upside down.”

To compound his illness, Lowe received a letter from his insurance company in April 2014 saying his health insurance would lapse the following month.

“I collapsed; I lost it,” he said. “I thought it was hopeless. I didn’t know where to turn for help.”

Lowe’s nurse connected him to the Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center, where Cheryl Young, lay patient navigator, worked with him to secure Social Security, straighten out his disability benefits and offer peace of mind. According to Lowe, Young made all the difference.

“It’s so good to know people care,” Lowe said. “They gave me hope again.”

The Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center opened in February 2013 with funding from the Norton Healthcare Foundation. It offers a variety of programs and support services to individuals and families living with neurological disorders. All services are offered free of charge.

“The goal of the resource center is to enhance the quality of life of individuals and families living with neurological disorders,” Young said.

The resource center has navigators to assist with both medical and nonmedical concerns. Nurse navigators help with medical aspects such as making sense of the health care system and learning how to live with a chronic illness. The lay navigator helps with nonmedical issues such as employment questions, insurance, billing, transportation issues, home health, Social Security Disability Insurance and more.

The center also provides access to educational, therapeutic and exercise programs; nutritional counseling; support groups; prescription assistance; medical equipment; employment and financial guidance; and an array of support services.

“Our goal is to help remove any barriers that prevent the patient from getting the medical care they need and the ability to comply with the therapy as prescribed by the provider,” Young said.

She also notes that a top reason people come to the center is for assistance with financial concerns. “Finances often create a lot of stress for our patients,” Young said. “Our job is to help them through the crisis and develop a plan that will allow them to regain their peace of mind.”

For Lowe, the assistance provided by the resource center has given him a new start to life with CIDP. In addition to helping with finances, the center recommended activities such as water aerobics and yoga to benefit his well-being.

“I can learn to live with it,” Lowe said. “Ask anyone and they’ll tell you the difference in me is daylight from darkness.”


Win a Trip to Wine Country

Support the important work of the Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center

Purchase a ticket to win our grand prize drawing for a five night, six day Napa Valley wine country experience. The experience includes a five-night stay at the Meritage Resort and Spa, six consecutive hours of chauffeured luxury sedan service for winery tours and tastings, a three-hour gourmet dinner for two on the Napa Valley Wine Train and round-trip airfare for two.

The winner will be drawn October 11, 2014 at 9:15 p.m. during the 1-N-3 Gala at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.

All tickets purchased benefit the Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center through the Norton Healthcare Foundation. Raffle tickets are $100 each. Purchase tickets or learn more at NortonHealthcareFoundation.com. 

The Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center is located on the Norton Healthcare – St. Matthews campus, Norton Medical Plaza 2, Suite 302, 3991 Dutchmans Lane. Stop by or call (502) 559-3230 for more information.


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