How Red Nose Day Helps Children in Need

Air Date: 05/21/2015
Source:
NBC Nightly News
Creator:
Lester Holt/Joe Fryer
Air/Publish Date:
05/21/2015
Event Date:
05/21/2015
Resource Type:
News Report
Copyright:
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
2015
Clip Length:
00:02:25

Efrain Gonzalez and his family had no health insurance when he became very ill. A mobile charity clinic run by the Children's Health Fund provided him with life-saving medical care and eventually helped diagnosed him with diabetes.

How Red Nose Day Helps Children in Need

LESTER HOLT, anchor:

Maybe you have noticed recently a lot of famous faces sporting red noses, it's all because of Red Nose Day, a special event airing right here tonight on NBC, featuring a parade of stars having a laugh for charities, including one that helped save the life of a young man you are about to meet. NBC's Joe Fryer has his story.

JOE FRYER, reporting:

If this run-of-the-mill junior varsity football practice--

MAN: Rip to the right.

FRYER: --seems unusually riveting to the family of fifteen-year-old Efrain Gonzalez--

MAN: Let's go, let's go.

FRYER: --stop and consider what nearly slipped through their hands.

MARISA GONZALEZ (Efrain's Mother): When you almost lose your child, it changes everything.

FRYER: Here, along the desolate desert grasslands of southeast Arizona, medical care for kids was once scarce until a few years ago when a big, blue stranger pulled into town. Doctor Darlene Melk now travels the region in a mobile clinic run by Children's Health Fund.

DR. DARLENE MELK: I love feeling like I'm in a place where not many people want to be, that there is something that I can do that makes a difference.

FRYER: No one is turned away, including Efrain's family in 2012 when they had no health insurance and he became very ill.

M. GONZALEZ: We literally were holding him up to walk to register in when she peeked out the window and she said what's wrong?

FRYER: Did you pretty quickly know what might be the problem?

DR. MELK: I did.

FRYER: Doctor Melk diagnosed Efrain with diabetes and knew he had to get to a hospital immediately.

EFRAIN GONZALEZ: I was weak, scared, it's like my body was shutting down on me.

FRYER: Efrain's family rushed him to an emergency room 75 miles away just in time.

M. GONZALEZ: Without the mobile clinic, he would have absolutely gone into a coma. And I don't even want to say what that outcome of that would have been.

FRYER: Efrain is grateful for that doctor's office on wheels.

WOMAN: Hello, how are you?

FRYER: And now hopes Red Nose Day will raise enough money to put more mobile clinics in places that need them.

E. GONZALEZ: Because one day you never know what could happen and it saved my life.

FRYER: These days, it is not just the clinic that's going places. Joe Fryer, NBC News, Douglas, Arizona.

HOLT: The Red Nose Day special event with hosts, Seth Meyers, David Duchovny, and Jane Krakowski airs right her on NBC tonight at eight, seven Central.

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