Oregon - Medicaid Matters: David’s Story

Medicaid is David’s lifeline after a stroke

David has a lot to live for. At age 69, he has six adult children, 20 grandkids and 11 great-grandkids. He also has his beloved martial arts that he began practicing in his 20s and still continues today.


"I don’t think I would have survived without having Medicaid’s helping hand,” says David.

In 2009 David collapsed at home and lay there until his daughter found him. He had suffered a stroke, which landed him in the hospital for two months, affected his right side and limited his ability to walk. While in the hospital one of his daughters and a social worker at Providence Portland Medical Center helped enroll him in CareOregon, a Medicaid program. Although David worked hard his whole life, he couldn’t afford a lengthy hospital stay or the rehabilitation and medication he needed afterward to continue healing.

David is proud to be a native Oregonian. He worked at a variety of interesting jobs during his career – at Freightliner, as a city land surveyor and parks employee, at a beauty supply store and at an airline catering company.

In true Oregon pioneer spirit, he doesn’t want to be a burden to others. Medicaid has helped him maintain his independence and his health. One way he stays healthy is to get as much exercise as he can – going on walks and practicing martial arts twice a week. He began practicing kung fu in his 20s and today is working on a third-degree black belt in taekwondo.

With an easy smile and outgoing personality, David is quick to acknowledge that, in many ways, he’s a lucky man. He has a loving family to help when he needs it, he’s recovered well from his stroke and he’s able to live fairly independently. He appreciates that Medicaid was there for him.

“I don’t think I would have survived without having Medicaid’s helping hand,” says David. “It’s a lifeline for people like me.”


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