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Patient Stories

An Open Door Leads to Healing

By January 12, 2024May 15th, 2024No Comments

Acela asked herself: “Will i always be like this? I prayed every day, I told God, I really need this, my kids need me, I am all they have. If you really love me, open these doors to healing.” In 2021, Acela’s journey of abdominal pain and heavy uterine bleeding began. Her physician told her that the ultrasound and biopsy showed uterine fibroids. Scared of surgery, Acela tried home remedies. Her physician prescribed birth control pills and IUDs but no solution seemed to provide a remedy for her bleeding.

Dr. Mostofian and Acela in a hospital room
Top: Dr. Mostofian and Acela sharing a warm moment in pre-op. Above: Dr. Eimaneh Mostofian

During this time, Acela could not miss work but she recalls feeling embarrassed and ashamed. “I would stain my clothes … I started packing multiple clothing options and I would sometimes have to keep working even though I would stain my clothes,” she explains. She also felt weak and experienced hip pain, leg pain, anemia, and exhaustion. Acela felt hopeless and frustrated.

The most challenging part was explaining everything to her sons. “My kids would ask me to go somewhere, and I would say, ‘Of course my loves, we will go.’ And then the day of, I could not go.” Acela saw her world get smaller and smaller, limited by her fear of a sudden heavy period.

In August, Acela was hemorrhaging and needed a blood transfusion. She was referred by TrueCare to Project Access for surgery and was told the wait was six months to a year. “I say that God put in my life the right people at the right time. Ms. Evelyn came to my house and helped me fill out the application — it’s incredible! Who does that for you? No one!”

Surgery was scheduled for November at Palomar Medical Center with Dr. Eimaneh Mostofian, an ob-gyn with TrueCare and a Project Access volunteer. Acela was shocked. “I was of two hearts at that time — on one hand I was so excited because I was going to have surgery, and on the other side I did not feel ready, it was too fast,” she explains. Dr. Mostofian adds, “TrueCare supports me by giving me the time to be of service. With Project Access, I am able to serve patients locally. It fulfills that place in my heart in a professional realm.”

Dr. Mostofian continues: “I can make an impact throughout a woman’s life, all in one day. The scope of what is possible is endless.” A quote that Dr. Mostofian lives by is from Mother Teresa: Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love. “The trust that a patient has in their physician is necessary, so the physician’s responsibility is overwhelming and a blessing during those vulnerable moments.”

As Acela recuperated from surgery she had a wide smile, a sense of peace, and such gratitude. She says, “I am so thankful for each of you, with your hearts … without the doctors and nurses volunteering time, I don’t think I would be here talking with you.” As Acela heals, she has been taking the boys to school and they made plans to go out for the holidays.

Since 2008, Project Access has facilitated $27 million in care for more than 9,600 uninsured patients just like Acela by providing free consultations and surgeries — all thanks to the dedication of our volunteer specialty physicians.