September 5, 2019

Patient Story: Theo

Despite a complicated medical situation with numerous chronic conditions, patient Theo's perseverance and positive outlook makes him an inspiration to his Landmark providers.

Landmark has been providing Theo Testo with in-home medical care since June of 2018. Theo has a complicated medical situation with numerous chronic conditions. Despite this, Theo’s Landmark provider, Donna, says, “I am struck by Theo’s perseverance and positive outlook. Theo is an inspiration.”

An Active Life

Theodore (Theo) Testo, 65, was born and raised in Watervliet, New York. He is the second oldest of six children. He had a happy childhood and still has a great relationship with his siblings. In his working days, Theo worked as a longshoreman, union supervisor, purchasing manager, and owned a sports bar. Theo is a big sports fan who likes to walk and lift weights.

Theo has chronic conditions such as COPD, atrial fibrillation, kidney disease, hypotension, depression and lung cancer. His life goals include staying as active as possible. He wants to spend meaningful time with his family and his many friends—as Theo puts it, “Too many to count!”

Learning About Landmark

When Theo was first contacted by Landmark, he wasn’t sure if he should learn more.  Theo says, “At first I was hesitant. You see a lot of stuff on television about different health plans, and I was never too fond of any of them. But then I got a letter from my existing health plan that said Landmark was available to me. Landmark requested we set up a meeting. I postponed the meeting a couple times, but finally Landmark came to visit me.”

Theo continues, “When the Landmark provider came over, we sat outside on the balcony, and she told me all about Landmark. It was very interesting. I couldn’t believe all the stuff Landmark offered, and she kept saying there were no copays. At that time, I was getting all these surgeries and a lot of hospitalizations—my copays were costing me thousands.”

Theo says, “The Landmark representative asked me, ‘Why don’t you try it?’ and so I said, ‘Okay, I’ll try it.’ Then, when I started with Landmark, I was really impressed.”

Regular Visits from Landmark

Once Theo signed on, Landmark began coming to visit him at his home about once a month. Theo says, “My Landmark providers help me keep track of my medications and monitor my blood pressure.”

Theo says, “Landmark calls me up to check in on me, even when I don’t call them first. That is nice—whether I need the call or not. It makes me feel good, like someone is looking out for me. Like I haven’t fallen off their list.” Theo adds, “Whenever I call Landmark, they answer right away. And if I need help quickly, they come and give me a nebulizer, or a shot, or whatever I need.”

Theo continues to see all the same providers that he visited before he signed on with Landmark. He says, “I still see six physicians outside of Landmark—my primary care doctor and my specialists. Landmark services are all in addition to the care I get from my other doctors.”

Avoiding Hospitalizations

Theo says, “Sometimes I’m out of breath, or nauseous, or dizzy. Then I start to panic, and I get more out of breath. In the past, I would call an ambulance. Now I call Landmark. Landmark keeps me out of the hospital. They have kept me from going to the hospital at least four times since I started with them.”

Theo adds, “Nobody likes hospitals, and it can be a burden on family when I am in the hospital.”

Landmark has saved me from going to the hospital at least four times. I just call them up and say, ‘get over here.’

Improved Quality of Life

Theo says, “Landmark has definitely improved my quality of life. There was a point, after being sick for so long, that everything was finally hitting me that I had been through medically. I was moody, and I would fly off the handle. I was short-tempered. My Landmark provider noticed a change in my attitude. I was tensed up all the time. They recommended Donna come visit me. She talked to me and prescribed medication, and after two weeks there was a world of difference in my attitude. My anger was appropriately channeled. I felt so much better. Even my ability to exercise got better!”

Theo laughs and adds, “Then I had to go around and do an ‘apology tour’ to everyone I had gotten angry at before. They all said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’”

Theo sums up his opinion of Landmark by saying, “Landmark is sweet. The whole organization. They are very hands-on and do a good job.”

“I believe that the story about Theo and his relationship to Landmark will be helpful to many people.” – Donna, Theo’s Landmark provider