Craig To the editor:
I hear almost daily about The Memorial Hospital. The usual comments I hear, paraphrasing, are that our hospital is equal to a Band-Aid station. It has even been likened to a barn.
So not true! In May, my then-19-year-old daughter was involved in an auto accident on Red Mountain Pass. She was checked out initially at Montrose Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced bumped and bruised, but OK. She was given a couple prescriptions, and had to sit in the waiting room until I could get her, as her car was totalled. We spent the night at a Grand Junction hotel.
The next morning, she woke in excruciating pain. I took her to the St. Mary's Hospital emergency room, where they said she had a run-of-the-mill UTI and sent her out with more prescriptions.
The next day, she woke up with intermittent delirium and extreme vomiting. I brought her home to Craig, thinking she was having a bad reaction to the prescriptions.
She was so "out of it" by the time we got to Craig, I rushed her to The Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department. There, R.N. Dave Higgins discovered her blood pressure was way too low - they were amazed she had walked in! Dave did not leave her side from the moment of initial evaluation.
They got her a CT scan, looking for internal bleeding, and readied her to be flown to St. Mary's via Flight for Life, as she was within "an hour or two" of dying!
The radiologist, Dr. Jones, discovered her right kidney was blocked. Dr. Brothers was given a Colorado State Patrol escort from Steamboat Springs. Dr. Tammy Rice was beside my daughter in an instant, and she was readied for surgery to remove the blockage, and insert a stent to restore normal kidney flow.
She never had to leave our home community, because of the diligence and excellent care she received in our little Craig Memorial Barn.
She was in ICU for a few days, where she was monitored round the clock by wonderful nurses, doctors and CNAs. They were unfailingly polite, kind, considerate and beyond professional with my girl, her little daughter and our family and friends. My daughter is alive and well because of the incredible care she received here at The Memorial Hospital.
I would like to name all of the wonderful people who helped save my daughter's life, but I don't have everyone's name - just, please, know you are all appreciated and treasured.
I would also like to add, somewhat anticlimactically, I work with The Memorial Hospital staff on mental health matters at least once or twice a week, and I am always treated professionally. I see many of the staff there interacting with patients, as well; and I have never seen them be anything less than kind, considerate and professional - even when their patients and/or family members are being rude, inconsiderate and plain nasty.
So, I don't like hearing that The Memorial Hospital is receiving bad press, because they don't deserve anything less than the community's praise.
I know it is very difficult to provide quality care in a rural setting for a variety of reasons - funding is horrendous, and pay is less than standard - but we in the health care professions value the quality of life in this community. We realize rural communities deserve quality health care, and we are willing to make sacrifices to ensure that.
So, lay off!