March 5, 2018 | Faces Of FREE

Hello, my name is Angie.

When I was 24 years old, I suffered an aneurysm. I was found by my 5-year-old daughter back then, who was looking under the bathroom door. I was rushed to Southampton Hospital, then Stony Brook Hospital, and then transferred to Southside Hospital for intensive rehab. During rehab, my priority was always to return to being a loving mother to my children, which took many months of rehab and occupational therapy.

My Mom and Dad are a major support to me and helped me raise my children. My mom helped me enroll in the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver Program (TBI) in 1998. From that point forward, I was able to have a group of support staff. My service coordinator has been with me for almost 18 years. The waiver service has helped me find solutions in my home and in the community. The waiver service has also helped me become the strong independent person I am today. I have raised three children along with waiver staff and family there for support along the entire way. The waiver services helped me find a home and allowed me to be a full-time parent to my three children.

I rely on the waiver services assistance for housing, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and case management services through service coordination and having my Independent Living Skills Training (ILST) in place to help with budgeting and planning. They helped me with all the forms that my children needed to attend college and get some special grants.

I have learned how to get transportation and Suffolk County Accessible Transportation (SCAT) buses to all school events and how to save money by doing so. By 2015, I saved enough to buy my own SUV. The waiver here in New York is a very strong and powerful program to be involved with, and should this be cut from Medicaid services, we would be left with nothing.

Overall, I have learned to enjoy life, laugh when I can, but also learn from each obstacle set before me. I know my supports will be alongside me to help me through if I need help!