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Celebrate Excellent Care

I skipped the Grand Ole Opry for surgery at Beebe Healthcare

By Debra Quinton

Grateful patient Debra Quinton celebrates her surgeon, Dr. Erik Stancofski, and sees his unmasked face for the first time.

Recently I was on vacation with my spouse to tour Nashville, Tenn., and ultimately, Asheville, N.C., with friends. A week-long road trip was planned, and we were all so excited.

Sadly, the excitement and joy of seeing my friends and being on a road trip soon faded. As we arrived in Nashville (after only a 15-hour drive from Lewes), a nagging pain in my abdomen and back sent me to the emergency room. Doctors in Nashville diagnosed me with a 2.9-centimeter (1.25-inch) gallstone, and administered pain and nausea meds to make me comfortable. I was told I would need to have the gallstone addressed but, after proving I could keep a cup of water down, I was discharged.

Thinking I would be able to finish my vacation ended up being a short-lived dream. In less than 48 hours, the pain was back and worse than before. After speaking with my doctor here in Lewes, we decided the best course of action was for me to skip seeing the Grand Ole Opry and come home. So, I caught the first flight I could into Baltimore, where a friend awaited to drive me all the way back to Beebe so its doctors could give my gallstone some attention. And wow, am I glad I made the decision to cut my vacation short. 

It was late when I arrived at Beebe’s Emergency Department. I was in a lot of pain and was immediately brought into one of the ED rooms. Within minutes, the necessary meds were administered to make me comfortable and I was grateful. My nurse was fabulous, and I was admitted for emergency surgery the next day.

Although I had to wait most of the day for an operating room (surgery was scheduled for 3 p.m.), my entire team, comprising Jillian Dashiell, Temyra Davis, Jeremy Gardner, Jennifer Gray, Loretta Hodges, Brian Hughes, Emily Massey, Anthony Powell, Carl Rest, Wendi Rhodes and Tywanna West Horsey, was exceptional. I’d like to give a special shout-out to Lea Mueller who, along with the other team members, took great care of me and kept me out of pain.

My surgeon, Erik Stancofski, MD, couldn’t have been nicer, and he too did a fabulous job. I was discharged by 10 p.m. the day of my surgery and have been delightfully pain-free ever since. I’m proud to now have Dr. Stancofski’s permanent decorations on my abdomen as a souvenir of his great laparoscopic work. He did say that I was lucky to get to Beebe when I did; the gallstone could have been infected within another 24 hours, and that would have made the whole thing far worse. 

This was my first admittance to Beebe after living in the area for eight years, and I cannot thank the staff, doctors and nurses enough for taking great care of me and managing my pain. Anyone who has ever had a gallstone knows it’s unlike any pain you can imagine, because you just cannot find a comfortable position for relief. Not without medication, anyway.

The point of this note is to acknowledge the excellent care I received and let all my local friends know what a great experience I had.  

So, instead of going to the Grand Ole Opry, I decided to go to the Grand Ole Beebe – and danced all the way home!

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 has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at [email protected].