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Thousands take advantage of offer of free health care

Aug 5, 2011 9:18:00 AM - thestate.com
The unquenchable need for health services for people with no insurance or inadequate insurance was evident in a line of people snaking through roped off pylons in front of Carolina Coliseum, into and out of a tunnel under Assembly Street and back all the way around the Coliseum early today.

Thousands of people waited in the August heat for their chance to get some free medical, dental and eye services offered through SC Mission 2011. The length of the line was both heartening and disheartening.

“It’s nice that they’re doing this, but it’s sad that so many people need it,” said Deborah Evangelista, 59, of Elgin, who was reading a Bible while waiting.

She has been unable to find a job for several years, and her husband is retired. They haven’t been able to find affordable dental insurance, so they hoped to get some work done on their teeth at the event, which was put together by several health care groups in the Midlands.

A woman who did not want her name published was at the head of the line at about 7 a.m. Thursday. She said she dipped a towel in a bucket of water and wiped her face, neck and shoulders to keep cool during the 100-degree temperatures that afternoon.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)