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Mike’s story

August 26, 2019
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A few years ago, Mike, a retired marine, faced a number of health issues. Heart problems led to regular hospital visits. He weighed 300 pounds and short walks left him out of breath. But those weren’t Mike’s only health issues. At 25, Mike lost his leg in a car accident. He also survived cancer.

“I don’t just have one thing to manage—it’s a lot to manage.”

Mike’s son spent a lot of time supporting him and taking him to appointments.  Mike was also forced to sleep on his couch because “it was all I could do to even get to the bathroom.” Mike’s health reached a crisis point when he was told his heart would soon fail for good. Mike decided to get a second opinion from a different doctor, who referred Mike to Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) to assist him in managing his complex care needs. 

Coordinated care through Commonwealth Care Alliance

Mike was nervous when he first joined CCA, but now says “it’s only been up.” Mike’s CCA care partner, Amanda, meets with Mike weekly. She helps arrange all the different aspects of Mike’s care. “Amanda is like part of the family. She’s been there for me.” CCA also covered a hospital bed, scooter, wheelchair, and even massages to help Mike with his pain. Mike no longer needs to go to the hospital as often. Unless it’s an emergency, his first call is to CCA.

“I want to stay around. I feel like the team I have in Boston and CCA—we’re in it together.”

Living independently at home

Mike now lives more independently at home and focuses on taking care of himself. His son can also focus on his education. Since joining CCA, Mike has lost 145 pounds. This has helped him to be able to wear his prosthetic leg again. He also enjoys walking, gardening, and going to the gym. Last year, he joined an adaptive sports program.1 Through this program, Mike has tried archery, tennis, biking, skiing, golf, and kayaking. This past October, he walked a 5K. 

“I’m giving myself every chance to succeed by taking my medications, exercising, and having fun.”

Advice for other CCA members

Mike says his motto is, “Keep going. Don’t give up.”  He trusts in keeping life simple and suggests doing what you can to cut out stress. “If you work hard, you get the rewards.”

1 When you click this link, you will leave the Commonwealth Care Alliance website.
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