Greensboro, NC - Twenty years ago, if you had Sickle Cell, you didn't live past forty-years-old. That's the way it used to be. But today, with help right here in the Triad, people have access to better care and a chance to live longer, better lives.
Dr. Eric Dean is the Medical Director for the Cone Health Sickle Cell Center. He and one of his patients, Kimberly Thomas talked with WFMY News 2's Tracey McCain about the center's impact on the patients it helps.
Thomas thought her struggle with Sickle Cell would keep her from having children. "I learned early one, especially with Dr. Dean's care, not to accept limitations and to live my life the way I want to live it. And if I want to live and be a mom I can. And I am," said Thomas.
The center, which moved to 24-hour care on May 20, 2013 makes patient care available anytime. "If they have a crises, we can get them into the center and avoid them coming through the emergency room," said Dr. Dean. "We also have facets as far as health maintenance where we watch their mammograms, colonoscopies and more."
Dr. Dean says where as patients used to die in their 40's, now with proper care their oldest patient is 83-years-old.