About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
Mrs. Obama hears from King George resident
Roberta Rollins, left, sat a table full of young doctors and dentists yesterday during Michelle Obama’s visit to Bowling Green. The doctors talked to the first lady about the federal loan program that helped them pay their tuition bills. Rollins talked about how a community health center like the one in Bowling Green saved her life.
Rollins is a 61-year-old a resident of King George County. She was having trouble with her eye and did not have health insurance, so she visited the Community Health Center of the Rappahannock Region in Fredericksburg in January ’08.
Dr. Donald Bley, the clinic physician, found that her eye lid was drooped and turned to the side, and that her pupil was dilated. Bley called Dr. Richard Erwin, a Fredericksburg neurologist, and described Rollins’ symptoms. The two agreed that Rollins appeared to have an aneurysm, or swollen blood vessel in her brain.
An MRI at Mary Washington Hospital confirmed the diagnosis. Her condition was critical. If the vessel broke, it could result in death, paralysis or blindness. Soon Rollins was aboard a helicopter to Charlottesville, where she had surgery to relieve the aneurysm. She was home the next day.
“I want to thank them for everything. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here,” Rollins told Mrs. Obama.
“We’re glad you’re here,” the first lady replied.