If you were at our banquet you were blessed to see clients share their stories through the video. But there is always far more we don’t have time to convey, including how we even find the stories. It always starts with prayer. Earlier this year, after asking God to provide stories, our Nurse Manager, Michele, was taking packets of information about our services to medical practices as part of our outreach in the community. At one urgent treatment center, the person who received the packet was Heather, who immediately began smiling and told Michele, “I know about Assurance,” and then proceeded to share her own Assurance story. At the end, she told Michele she would love to do anything she could to help us, including sharing her story. And just a few weeks later, she had sent us a written version of her story and was being interviewed for the video. The Lord provides.
My name is Heather and I am now a 28-year-old mother, financially stable with a very successful career path. But years ago, I was a teenager in high school with no money, living at home with my parents. I was also very pregnant and scared. I didn’t have a very open relationship with my parents even though they took great care of me. When I found out I was pregnant, I panicked. What was I going to do? Where was I going to go? How could I open my mouth and tell Mom and Dad I’m pregnant? It seemed like I was all alone. I let months go by–I wore big hoodies to hide the obvious growing stomach. I panicked every day because I knew I had a life growing inside me and I had not had any medical attention. I finally broke down and told my older sister, who immediately told me about this place called Assurance. She called that day and made me an appointment. The day of that appointment I woke up nauseous and nervous. I walked into the office, signed in, and filled out paperwork. “Date of last menstrual cycle?” it asked. I didn’t have an answer, it had been at least 5 months I felt like. I didn’t wait long in the lobby before getting called back into a room. I felt extremely embarrassed and scared but I was greeted by a smiling face and a warm welcome. The lady told me a little about Assurance and how they were there to help me. I got an ultrasound that day by a lady I’ll never forget named Kay. She explained everything she was doing every step of the way. I looked at the screen and sure enough there was a not so little figure of a baby. It was moving around and had a beating heart. She could tell by the look on my face I was terrified. I’m just a teenager myself, how on earth am I going to take care of someone else? Kay then explained to me her own powerful story. I’ll never forget her words to me. And I left the office that day with a little knitted blanket and hat, options, and support. Ultimately, I chose to tell my parents and with their support, I chose to keep my son. When I gave birth to my son, he was only 5 pounds and I was terrified. But the first time I held him I knew I had a new purpose in life. I ended up having my son on a Friday. I went back to school the very next week. I only had 5 months of high school left and I was determined to graduate on time. I did, with my son in the audience watching. Since then, life hasn’t always been easy of course. But I never gave up. I now have a great job and my own place. I work at an urgent treatment center and have encountered a few young girls that were in a similar predicament as myself, and immediately referred them to Assurance. I don’t know how my life would have turned out if I had not visited Assurance that day. I left with a sense of hope and I didn’t feel so alone. I hope in the future, my story gives another girl support and hope to visit Assurance and to take all the resources they have to share. It’s a truly amazing place.
What does Heather say about being a mom to her son now? “I cannot imagine my life without him. He saved me for sure.” To see Heather and the others who shared their story in this year’s video, go to https://vimeo.com/364051199.