Anita Patel can relate to her Tri-State Medical Supplies customers. She and her husband, Roy Patel, own the medical equipment business that has locations in both Spartanburg and Boiling Springs.
Patel knows what it is like to be newly diagnosed with a disease, not knowing what to do and feeling scared. She knows because that is exactly what happened to her five years ago when she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer discovered during a regular mammogram. The doctors called with the results and told her they needed to see her the next morning.
“I actually asked them if we could reschedule because I was busy, but they said no and that they needed to see me right away,” she recalled. “It was scary.”
After another mammogram and ultrasound, the results came back saying she indeed had breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy in 2015 and was supposed to get three rounds of chemotherapy.
Unfortunately for Patel, she only could withstand one treatment; her body rejected it and she was admitted to the hospital for 12 days, suffering neuropathy on the top of the head and feet.
“I lost all my memory of those days,” she said. “They told me this only happens to one in a million people and, guess what? I was that one.”
Although she could not continue with the chemo, she did undergo 70 aggressive radiation treatments.
“It took three years and I am only now starting to feel normal again,” she said, pointing out that she was very weak and lost all her hair.
She is now an advocate for breast cancer screens and encourages every woman to get checked, especially those in their 40s and 50s.
“I had just turned 50 when I was diagnosed,” she revealed.
She said going through this whole experience has actually helped her with her business at Tri-State Medical Supplies.
“I personally know what it is like to be given devastating news about my health and not know where to turn for help,” she empathized. “When people call us and need equipment but aren’t sure of the process, what they need exactly or how the payments work, I understand completely because I know how overwhelming it all is.”
Tri-State carries medical supplies and equipment from brands such as Golden Technologies, Invacare, Pride Mobility, Merits, Aetrex, Dr. Comfort, ThermoSkin, Drive Mobility, Patterson Medical and Talley Group. They carry wheelchairs, scooters, lift chairs, vehicle lifts, walkers, canes, ramps, hospital beds, bath safety products, CPAPs, BiPAP’s and CBD products as well.
Tri-State offers free delivery in the Upstate of South Carolina and works directly with all major insurance companies so their customers’ experience is hassle-free. Patel said that they work directly with doctors, nurses or home health agencies to make sure customers are getting the equipment that fits their needs.
“We can special order anything that we don’t have in stock as well,” Patel added.
Tri-State has a showroom so its customers can see the equipment up-close and even test it out and they also offer equipment repair.
“We can pick it up, repair it and return it,” Patel said.
Now in their 16th year in Spartanburg, the Patels admit the company has come a long way.
“I remember when it was just two employees, and now we have two locations and 15 employees, including sales, admin, billing, delivery technicians and even an on-staff respiratory nurse,” she said.
“We have compassion for our customers,” she concluded. “If you are on a fixed income, we will make it work. It is our sincere wish for you to become as mobile as possible and to regain independence. And, believe me, I know how you feel. I’ve been there.”
For more information on Tri-State Medical Supplies, call 864-579-2899 or visit www.tri-statemedical.net.
By Theresa Stratford