Lynda: Humboldt, KS


Lynda, 55, grew up in Humboldt and moved to Illinois in 1983. But in 2017, she had a stroke and was not able to be alone due to her health condition. Lynda knew it would be best for her to be with family who could care for her, so she moved back home to Kansas. 

But Lynda didn’t realize that, while she was eligible for Medicaid in Illinois, she would not be in Kansas because the state has not expanded its Medicaid program. Her move left her without access to affordable health care coverage to manage the effects of her stroke. 

LindaLynda’s stroke has impacted the left side of her body, and if she received physical therapy as was recommended after her stroke, she would have significantly more mobility now. But since Lynda didn’t have access to the care she needed, she will forever have limited use of her left side. “To be honest, I just feel that I don’t matter. I don’t know what it takes to get someone here in this state to help you. So many times, I feel like I’m existing and I’m not really living my life to the full potential I could have had.”

Lynda is also diabetic and needs shots in her eyes every six months to prevent blindness. These shots cost $2,000 per eye, and without health insurance, Lynda cannot afford them. Without this treatment, Lynda will eventually go blind.

If Lynda could move back to Illinois, she could once again be covered by Medicaid to get the care she needs. But because she is unable to live alone, she must stay in Kansas, without access to the health insurance that could improve her life. 

Want to see more of Linda’s story? Watch Critical Condition: Stories of Health in the Heartland, a short film featuring community members and health professionals from across Kansas sharing their challenges and triumphs as they strive to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities. 

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