Almost a decade ago, after serving overseas in the Marine Corps, Frank Ochoa returned home to Chicago, a young man in his early 20s, jobless and without health insurance. One day he began to experience severe abdominal pain. When the pain did not abate, Frank knew he needed immediate help. His father rushed him to Swedish Covenant’s Emergency Department.
The care he received there had a profound impact upon him. Not only was staff able to quickly diagnose the problem and ease his pain, he notes, “I was treated with respect and kindness by everyone. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have insurance or money to pay.” When the bill came, he recalls anxiously informing hospital staff that he was unemployed and couldn’t pay it. He was offered assistance and came back to the hospital to apply for charity care. Later, he learned that his debt was forgiven.
Wanting to show his gratitude and give back, Frank became a volunteer at Swedish Covenant, and most recently, nearly 10 years later, a financial donor. When asked what inspired his giving after all these years, Frank reflected, “When I was in need, Swedish Covenant Hospital was there for me, caring for me not as some charity case, but as a real person. I will never forget this.