On Sunday, Legacy Counseling Center celebrates its 25th anniversary with Be An Angel.
That’s such appropriate timing because Executive Director Melissa Grove and her staff at Founders Cottage are my angels. I call them that because they saved my friend’s life recently. Oh, I don’t mean, “Gee, Melissa. Thanks for the ride home. You saved my life.”
I mean a friend of mine was at Parkland last month and was suddenly diagnosed with organ failure. After just a few days, they were looking for hospice care for him — somewhere he could go to die. My partner called Melissa. After all, she has a hospice. Maybe she could help.
While Legacy didn’t have room, Melissa had this crazy idea for my friend. Maybe someone with HIV should be on HIV medication. And maybe, if that medication works, he won’t die.
I’m not sure why a doctor at Parkland didn’t think of putting someone with HIV on HIV meds. When someone goes to Parkland with a heart attack, do they say, “Hey, he had a heart attack. Find a hospice where he can die.” No, they treat the heart condition.
When someone with cancer goes to Parkland, do they say, “Hey, go home and die.” No, they send the patient to an oncologist.
So why, when someone with HIV came to Parkland, did they not treat the HIV? And why didn’t I think to suggest it myself? Well, I thought he was on his HIV meds, but I wasn’t looking at his medical chart or monitoring his medications, because I’m not a doctor. Thankfully, those angels at Legacy thought of it. Now Legacy is monitoring his care at a recovery facility and, guess what. He’s getting better.
“Yes, that happens a lot,” Grove said. “We get a lot of referrals to ‘hospice’ for people who have never even been tried on HIV meds.”
You can help Legacy continue to save lives. Legacy operates its counseling center in Uptown and Founder’s Cottage in Oak Cliff. In addition, it runs the country’s largest HIV-positive women’s conference through its Grace Project and its newest program, Homebase for Housing, that helps people with HIV find housing.
Be An Angel celebrates Legacy’s 25th anniversary with dinner, a live and silent auction and music by Vince Martinez at 7 for Parties, 150 Turtle Creek Blvd. Suite 107 on Sunday, July 20 from 6–9 p.m. Wendy Krispin is catering the three-course dinner. Tickets are $75 and available online.