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Meet Paola

Becoming Undocumented

The reason for being undocumented isn't always because someone crossed the border.  Many patients lose their protected status due to errors made in ignorance or due to bad legal counsel.  Paola explains how poor legal advice led her to live a life in the shadows. 

Feeling Like No One Cares

Often experiences with racism or the competition for resources influences the way our patients interpret how much concern their care team has for them.  The lack of rapport or understanding furthers patients' inability to connect with their medical team.  

Fear as Trauma

Patients who have lived years in the shadows will be preoccupied with fear especially in large institutions. The constant fear reaction makes patients more susceptible to suicidal ideation and substance abuse.

Finally Telling My Story

Once the threat of danger is resolved, patients are much more able to participate in their care and with their medical team. To promote safety, patients should be able to experience care from the medical team, talk openly about their fears, and be educated on the protections to care, without threat of deportation. 

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