We hope you enjoy getting to know just a few of the patients
who come through our doors at 700 Oglethorpe Avenue.
These patients represent the many stories that are encountered on a daily basis. While each person’s level of need may vary, there is a general feeling of hope that God will use Mercy Health Center to bring healing and a better tomorrow. We hope you will join us in praying for each one of these patients! Note: The patients featured on this page have given written permission for us to share their story. Additionally, below you will find anonymous notes from Mercy patients who have left comments about the care they receive.
“While waiting to be seen by your great staff, I saw the sign posted to “Take a moment to express my gratitude..”. So thank you very much for providing the services that you do to help and inspire the community. I am currently without insurance and found myself in need (something I thought would never happen to me). So thank you so much for being here and best wishes.”
Meet Dedrick Griffeth. Dedrick was born and raised in Athens. This has been a life that he has loved to live until a work related accident. A heavy piece of equipment malfunctioned and struck him in the eye. Dedrick was unable to afford specialist visits to get the care he needed. Walking into 700 Oglethorpe Ave was the first doctor’s visit for Dedrick since the accident in 2008.
The affects of this accident cannot be overstated. Dedrick is now blind in his right eye and suffers from severe migraines. This struggle has pushed Dedrick into battles with depression and a life of isolation. He has been forced to give up many of the activities he loves: fishing, basketball, reading the paper.
Since 2008, Dedrick has felt that “nothing has gone (his) way.” However, getting through the call line at Mercy has served as hope for a new day. A day that will allow him to return to a life he loves. 6 years of pain will not disappear over night, but pray that as Dedrick finds relief from physical ailments he will find a new joy in life.
Meet Kevin Gibbs. He is a 38 year-old patient who is currently living at the Potters House. He has 3 months left in a treatment program that is helping him “turn his life around.” Kevin describes himself as someone who has struggled with drugs and alcohol throughout most of life, but his loving and supporting family has challenged him to seek the help he needs.
During his 12-month recovery program, Kevin has taken the initiative to clean out other areas of his life as well. This includes addressing some of the health concerns that have come as a result of being a drug user. When asked what the most significant part of this process has been, Kevin responded, “Discovering the grace of God and His strength that has brought me here today.”
Kevin hopes to emerge from this year of cleansing and return to school where he will receive the training needed to become a commercial plumber. Please join us in praying for Kevin as he continues to trust God with his life. Pray that this year of healing will serve as catalyst for his new direction in life.
Meet Tim Schultz. Tim is currently on a journey that he describes as being fueled by grace. Almost two and a half years ago, Tim prayed for God to deliver him from the addictions that imprisoned his life: addictions that included crystal meth, porn, and others. “Since that day, I knew I was forgiven. But it was up to me to complete the journey.”
Tim moved to Athens around this same time and found Mercy Health Center a short time later. A family history filled with strokes and mental illness has not escaped Tim. These conditions have made it difficult for him to find work. With an upcoming appointment with a specialist, Tim hopes he can have surgery to clean out his carotid artery. Returning to full strength will hopefully mean returning to an active lifestyle.
Tim’s “attitude of gratitude” radiates as he shares his journey of struggle. His testimony is one that exemplifies the life changing power of God’s grace. Pray that as Tim continues to form a new outlook on life, his story will serve as inspiration to those he encounters.
Meet Kay Stokes. Kay, along with her mother and children, has called Athens home for over 5 decades. Her daughter, 36, works at St. Mary’s Hospital, and her son, 32, is a pastor. Growing up in a home that saw over 100 foster kids, Kay has always taken on a role of service to those around her. This continues in her elderly age as she is the primary care giver for her mother.
Spurred by gastric bypass surgery in 2008, Kay has lost over 200 lbs. However, the effects of this lifestyle remain. The most debilitating condition being chronic arthritis in her knees. This pain often prevents her from being able to do daily activities.
Kay hopes that relief from the constant battle against arthritis along with improvement from other ailments will allow her to maintain her active lifestyle. Healing for Kay will result in a better life for two people. Not only will Kay be able to more involved with her children, but she will also be able to give her mother the care that is needed. Kay will be able to return to her life of service.
Meet Jonathan Patrick. Jonathan was born in Athens and at the age of 12 was placed in the care of foster parents who became his “saving grace.” While Jonathan was taken out of the unhealthy home as a child, separating himself from some of the generational battles has been more difficult. Jonathan has 2 girls who currently live with his mother-in-law. Jonathan wants to love and support his girls more than anything in the world. “I don’t want someone to have to intervene to raise my kids.”
Jonathan has had leg pain since 2002. As someone who primarily does physical labor, this has made it difficult to sustain a job. “If I’m not healthy, I can’t do what I need to do to care for my girls.” Jonathan has heart to care for his kids. He desperately wants to be a good father. He wants them to know that they are loved. As Jonathan continues to learn what it means to be a good father, pray that God would give him strength and the necessary medical treatment to obtain a new found health.