Canadian finds nerve pain relief with the help of Dr. Carie Barlow

Growing up in Canada, Jessica Caciola never had to go without healthcare. Under Canada’s taxpayer-funded Medicare system, Canadians don’t pay out-of-pocket for essential medical services like doctor and hospital visits. So when she moved to Arizona as an adult, she experienced sticker shock as a result of a recent ER visit due to severe pain.

“My ER bill was for $20,000 and all they did was give me a diagnosis of neuropathy with instructions to visit a neurologist,” said Jessica, who is currently uninsured while she is working on the paperwork to become a U.S. citizen. “I was still in excruciating pain, but couldn’t fathom additional out-of-pocket expenses to visit a specialist.”

So she turned to Google to search for free or reduced cost healthcare clinics, and she found Mission of Mercy’s Avondale clinic, which was not far from her home in Peoria.

After calling for an appointment, she was surprised to be seen within in a few days. “I was expecting to wait months,” she said. Long-time volunteer Dr. Carie Barlow met with Jessica to review her healthcare situation, and she was prescribed and provided with medication to help alleviate the pain she was experiencing from her chronic condition.

At her initial visit, free laboratory testing was provided by Sonora Quest in order to help evaluate her condition. Further testing was needed in the form of nerve conduction studies. Mission of Mercy was able to help get her into a neurologist for free and get these tests done.

“I was blown away by the care and consideration provided to me,” Jessica said. “It is evident that Mission of Mercy truly cares about the patients they see. Dr. Barlow went the extra mile to make sure I was feeling better and that there weren’t any other health conditions that may be impacting me.”

Dr. Barlow is no stranger to accolades and grateful patients. In fact, she received the “Outstanding Physician” award at the 2018 Healthcare Leadership Awards.

“We try our best at each clinic to provide great care to every one of our patients,” Dr. Barlow said. “We are constantly working hard to continue to develop relationships with other clinics, doctors, hospitals and pharmacies to get the care our patients need at a cost they can manage.”

Jessica added, “I’m extremely thankful and fortunate to have found Mission of Mercy. Without the clinic, I would have to either live in pain or potentially uproot my life and move back to Canada to get the care I need.”

Jessica (second from L) with her family