Homeless woman receives emergency surgery, thankful to be alive with family

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A Bay Area woman reached out and told KTVU despite being homeless, she and her family still have a lot to be grateful for during Thanksgiving.

Inez Franklin-Choice says that doctors, nurses and social workers at John Muir Medical Center's Concord campus made a difference in her life.

On Monday evening, Inez was back back at the hospital accompanied by her daughter.

It's been one week since the single mom was discharged from John Muir after emergency gall bladder surgery.
Only this time, it's not pain that brings her here, but gratitude.

"You came by my bed and cried with me," says Inez to hospital social worker John Simarro," You guys made me feel like family. You made my kids feel comfortable."

Last Monday, Inez was rushed to John Muir's emergency room when she became very ill from acute pancreatitis.

"You're someone who's very easy to be present with," responded Simarro who's part of Inez's medical team," We have a great staff here."

Inez described the staff who helped her as "humanitarians."

Inez and her three children, all in their 20s, are for the most part living out of a van.

"We've been homeless since August 8th of this year," says Inez.

For the past week, the family scrapped up enough money to stay at a hotel in Antioch.

The 49-year-old says the family became homeless when their landlord put their home in Antioch up for sale.
"My children have never experienced homelessness. Never. It was just very hard for me," says Inez.

During this bleak time, she says the hospital staff showed compassion.

Nurses would sit by her hospital bed during their breaks. Inez says the surgeon also went beyond the call of duty fixing another medical problem--hernia, in addition to the emergency gall bladder surgery.
"It was very rewarding for us to be able to help patients through a tough time like that and to reassure her because she was nervous about surgery that everything is going to be fine," says Dr. Diane Kwan, Inez's surgeon. .

Inez says Dr. Kwan saved her life, " She really did something that was beautiful for me and my family," says Inez as she turned and asked Dr. Kwan for a hug.

Inez says she feels and looks better than she has in a long time.

She and her family are hopeful they'll find affordable stable housing soon.

And on this thanksgiving holiday, she's grateful she's alive and with her family.

For information on the 'Help My Family' gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/7k-help-my-family