April S. Norcross, MA, CEOLS, BCPA
Independent Patient Advocate
About Your Advocate
My story is long, so I will try to give you the highlights. After over three years of being misdiagnosed
and incorrectly treated, only getting worse, in March 2015, I reached a point where a third doctor’s opinion was warranted.
I did eventually receive an accurate diagnosis, but something else monumental occurred at the same time.
I received a phone call from my hospitalized mother: “Honey, I probably have cancer.”
Nine days later, on Easter Sunday, while receiving at-home hospice care, she died from metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Three weeks prior she had been misdiagnosed and mistreated for GERD. With my father having been seriously ill for a years, my mother’s last breath ushered in my new role as caregiver for my father. It became my job to ensure he was adequately cared for, his voice heard, his rights and wishes honored, especially after he’d entered long term care, and even after his death.
I learned what it meant to advocate and respect choices. Though, let me be clear, no amount of time to prepare, education, or expectation made the experience any less difficult or demanding. With complications from diabetes, on hospice care, during Thanksgiving weekend 2016, he was set free to reunite with my mother.
I very much appreciate the pain of loss during holiday seasons.
During this time, my daughter’s struggles with Autism worsened, as well as, some of her other chronic conditions.
(A story in and of itself). All the while, I had to move forward in the battle for my own healthcare,
try to take time to grieve, and still be a wife and mother.
The lessons I learned as my father’s advocate were disheartening, profound, and life altering.
In combining the experiences with my parents, my own, and the ongoing advocacy I maintain for my daughter,
I know what it means to need and be a patient advocate.
I am prepared to be that kind of advocate for you!
I have worked with individuals to plan their end of life affairs and as a grief and loss coach.
In that work, I was reminded the need for advocacy was certainly not isolated to my family.
I chose to obtain proper credentialing and change the scope of my work.
My advocacy services are patient-centered, values-centered, caregiver-minded, and practical, but particular,
with the ultimate goal to help protect your choice and empower your voice.