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Celebrate Excellent Care

Biking enthusiast thanks Beebe for a job well done

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Walt Ellenberger

 

By Walt Ellenberger III

Funny thing, this adventure called life. In retrospect, my bike accident that left me with seven broken ribs and an impact fracture of my right hip turned out to be the best of a bad situation.

I have been biking for many decades, and I am involved with Ride Allegheny, a fundraiser for Operation Second Chance benefiting wounded military members, that goes from Pittsburgh to the Washington, D.C. area. On the day of my accident at the end of July, I was on a training ride on Coastal Highway near Bethany Beach when I hit an unfinished water pipe on the shoulder and went for an unscheduled flight.

According to the police report, they found me 30 feet from the point of impact still attached to my bike. I landed on my right side and was very fortunate not to hit my head. For all the avid bikers who will inevitably want to know, the bike was unscathed. All in all, the good Lord was looking out for me that day. If I'd hit the hole differently, I would have gone head over heels or been catapulted into Route 1 traffic.

I have been in the healthcare industry all my professional life, starting my career in an administrator role at George Washington University Medical Center in D.C. So, while I am very familiar with the workings of healthcare, this was my first ambulance ride and the start of what would feel like a family affair. En route to Beebe's Emergency Department in Lewes, I learned that the emergency medical technician caring for me used to work in The Peninsula golf community where I live. Once at Beebe, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Ramakrishna Tatineni, MD, who had performed my previous hernia repair, was the trauma physician on call. Even the ED physician's assistant  directly involved in my care, Mike Nolan, is an avid biker and knew about Ride Allegheny.

Start to finish, the care I received at Beebe was exceptional and personalized. Before I saw the outcome of my X-rays, I received a text from Charley Stanislav, MD, my primary care physician, because he had received a report that I had several broken ribs!

My orthopedist, Patrick Kane, MD, was in the hospital that day, and after a quick review of my case, he reached out to Wilson Choy, MD. I was fortunate to have both Dr. Kane and Dr. Choy involved. I needed an emergency, full hip replacement – Dr. Choy's staff were kidding me about the extraordinary measure I took to jump the elective hip surgery waitlist!

In the age of COVID, I was a little nervous about being in a hospital, but strict precautions were in full force at Beebe. I had a spinal block, and although I remember sitting on the side of the bed before the procedure, the next thing I knew, I was waking up in post-op without any pain. The next day, after passing the walking test and resolving a small pneumothorax [collapsed lung] on my own, I was safely back home.

Beebe's quality of care from ED, surgery, orthopaedic post-op, and post-discharge Home Care Services has been nothing short of stellar. What makes Beebe special is the blend of big-city quality care with a community-based, personal-care touch. The level of personal engagement and caring had such a positive impact on me, especially filling the void of COVID family presence restrictions.

I am happy to be alive and on the road to full recovery now that my ribs are being nice to me again, thanks to Beebe Healthcare. My wife Val and I easily made the decision to join Beebe's 1916 Club as a sincere thank you for a job well done.

As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one have received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at www.beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at aneal@beebehealthcare.org.

 

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Walt Ellenberger III is ready to bike again thanks to the excellent care he received at Beebe.