Every step felt like a painful electric shock. By 10:30 in the morning, her boss told Jolanda White to go home. By noon, she was in the emergency room of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital.
Then, the amputation.
Jolanda remembers it clearly. Dr. Myron Hall, an MLKCH podiatrist, came to her bedside to break the bad news: she had a bacterial infection in the bones of her foot, exacerbated by the Type 2 diabetes that ran in her family and had killed her mother.
“Oh no, I don’t want this,” she told her doctor. But there were no other options. Her blood sugar levels were off the charts. Both feet were at risk. The infection could no longer be controlled by antibiotics alone.
“I was a very, very sick girl,” she recalls.
Three surgeries and 13 days later, Jolanda emerged from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) with one less toe and a wicked series of scars up and down both feet.
She also emerged with a new care team—Hall, primary care doctor Juan Cabrales, and Alex Rivera, a social worker at the MLK Community Medical Group (MLKCMG). Jolanda says that care team, along with an innovative pilot program that gives diabetes sufferers the keys to their own recovery, saved her life.
The program is called “Recipe for Health.”