John T. John: receiving the support he once provided

Healthcare has always been a common thread in John T. John’s life. As a retired patient account representative, he worked at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut for 20 years helping patients navigate the complex hospital system. Beyond his own experience, his late wife worked with patients as a registered nurse. Today, his son-in-law currently works in public health and his daughter is a social worker. For John, his career and that of his family helped prepare him for the realities of living with chronic diseases.

First diagnosed with prostate cancer 35 years ago, John is now cancer-free, but still takes multiple medications for his asthma and high blood pressure. His chronic asthma symptoms—including shortness of breath—impact his life the most, leaving him reliant on an inhaler anytime he wants to go for a walk or exercise. Like many retired folks living with asthma and other chronic illnesses, John’s treatment costs are a heavy burden on him. In addition to the fees for visiting his specialty doctors regularly, he also pays $80 out-of-pocket per month just for his inhalers.

Portrait of John T. John

Since I am retired, my income is minimum. All of it adds up as a little too much for me.

These days, at 88-years-old John lives in Virginia with his daughter and son-in-law. He first moved south to be closer to family, but now he’s grateful for their support as he navigates living with his multiple diseases. Along with driving him to and from his doctor’s office and pharmacy, John’s son-in-law has also been a fierce advocate for him by seeking out a foundation that could cover his father-in-law’s high out-of-pocket expenses. Luckily, his insurance company referred them to PAN’s asthma fund, which John applied to with the help of his children.

[My daughter and son-in-law] are always willing to help me whenever I need.

Approved for financial assistance from PAN in August 2022, John and his family are grateful for the peace of mind that comes with having his asthma medications covered. Just as he helped patients navigate the hospital system when he worked at Bridgeport Hospital, John was able to rely on others to help him navigate his own healthcare journey and connect with the support he needed.

Rather than worrying about how he will afford his out-of-pocket prescription costs, John now spends his time visiting his son in New York and doing what he enjoys most—watching his favorite soccer teams and reading the newspaper front to back every day.