rooted in compassion

Uplifted By Love

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Joe De la Cerda, 62 years of age, is a lifelong resident of Galveston. Joe drove a cab for a living. Over the years, he attended some Food Fairs and a few Jesse Tree events. Last September, he visited the Jesse Tree requesting a pair of reading glasses where he encountered Kyaw Lim (pronounced “Jaw” Lim) with the Prescription Assistance Program. In Joe’s words, Kyaw took one look at him, asked him a few questions and immediately asked him to call a family member to accompany him to the hospital.

Joe describes a quick trip to the UTMB Emergency Room, where he appreciated the patient staff explaining to him that he was experiencing severe cardiac distress and limited heart function. He was immediately admitted for treatment and reports that by mid-afternoon his swollen ankles were returning to normal. Joe gives his foremost thanks to God, but also remains grateful to Greg White, MD who immediately treated him and explained that one more week in this condition could have cost him his life.

He describes how his breathing has continued to improve as he credits the quick actions of The Jesse Tree with saving his life and very kindly adds that he was never treated “like a number”, but, rather like a person who is loved. He eventually got those reading glasses but, his highest praise continues to go to The Jesse Tree staff where healthcare, social services and ministerial assistance are integrated and provided in a holistic fashion. Joe is quick to add that The Jesse Tree not only fills empty bowls with nutritious foods (see Empty Bowl Event), but teaches people to “take action” to get well, stay well and to become self-sufficient. He has signed on as a volunteer to give back to the community and to guide others toward improved health and well-being.