Arthur W. never guessed that it would be a diabetes educator who would bring him and his family relief during a heat wave this summer. Arthur lives in an un-air-conditioned apartment with his sons, ages 7 and 9. He has suffered the loss of his right leg, is wheelchair-bound, and while hospitalized at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center this June, he was diagnosed with diabetes and started on insulin. Laurie Lyell, RN, BSN, Clinical Coordinator, Diabetes Education Services, St. V’s, was asked to go talk with him about his diagnosis and the steps he would need to take to manage his diabetes and remain as healthy as possible.
"Insulin teaching includes how to store and use it safely," Laurie said. "Insulin should be used at room temperature. Arthur described his apartment as ‘hot.’ I called the state agency that provides air-conditioners to those who need them and was told applications could be accepted after July 1. In further conversations with him, I discovered he is a veteran of the Marine Corp. Then I contacted my mother, Sandy Lyell, who is involved in the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Conn-Weissenberger post #587. She took his case to the Ladies Auxiliary, and they voted to provide him with a window air-conditioner. Mom picked it up at Costco, and I delivered it to his apartment just in time to beat a major summer heat wave. I called him to check up on him shortly after, and he reported both his family and his insulin were nice and cool!"
Laurie said she enjoyed the opportunity to live the Mercy Mission and make a difference for Arthur and his children. Arthur was surprised and very happy that Laurie and her mother went out of their way to help him and his family.
"It was so out of the blue and unexpected," Arthur said of receiving the air conditioner. "It was truly a blessing from God – they (Laurie, Sandy and the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion) were our angels of Mercy."