It was as if I had family caring for me
By John Reddington
I was not feeling well and had shortness of breath, so I went to see my primary care doctor. She said that I might have a blood clot and sent me for a blood test. I was surprised when she called to let me know the test came back positive and I would need to have a CT scan. I drove myself to Beebe Healthcare in Lewes where they did the scan.
I was shocked when they said, “John, we’re going to have to keep you, you have two blood clots, one in each lung. Let’s get you over to the ER to be admitted.”
I remember Jamie Phillips, RN, taking me over to the Emergency Department, and that was the first occasion where I felt like I was getting special treatment. Upon reflection of my entire stay at Beebe I realize I was never receiving special treatment. What I learned is everyone is treated like they are special at Beebe.
I was taken into a room where Taylor Spears, RN, put a port into my hand for an IV. He was very professional, understanding and friendly. Taylor explained everything to me, and I never had any concerns that anything was wrong. I was hooked up to an IV drip right away and an Imaging Tech did a sonogram of my legs to check for any other clots. While I waited in the ER for a bed to become available in the ICU, it felt like someone was coming in to check on me every three minutes.
The level of care I experienced in the ICU was amazing! It was as if everyone was focused on caring for just me! They worked together as a team to make me as comfortable as I could be, always asking about my general welfare. I felt like there wasn’t anything they couldn’t do, because they were always asking “what else can I do?” In my first couple of hours I was visited by four or five different doctors, and many different nurses.
I never felt like I was in any danger, and I didn’t have any fear, even though they explained the blood clots, or pulmonary embolisms, were close to my heart. Several people told me it was a good thing I came in when I did, and that I might be in the ICU for a couple of nights. Dr. Robert Myers, an interventional cardiologist, came in to tell me that the embolisms were close to my heart, but they weren’t touching my heart, so I wouldn’t require surgery. Throughout the night everyone kept checking on me, telling me that I was showing signs of improvement.
The next morning when they told me I would be able to go home the next day, everyone started to work with me to help me get ready. I had physical therapy with Kimberly Keating and remember she asked me, “John, what do you do for work?” I told her I am the mayor of Ocean View and she replied, “Oh.” I realized then that what I did for work didn’t matter, everyone at Beebe treats every patient like a VIP.
My night nurse, Alicia Alderman, RN, was so personable, and helpful and friendly. At 7 a.m. when she told me that she had to leave, she sounded like she really didn’t want to go. I asked, “So, I may not see you again?’ and she replied, “No, if all goes as planned, you should be going home before I come back to work.”
Ginger Farr, RN, my day nurse, was just as wonderful. When she took me downstairs to be discharged, she waited with me while my wife, Mary, was bringing up the car.
One of the best things about all of these nurses - they felt like they were my friends and my family. They were all so open to sharing things about their personal lives. They told me about the challenges of being a traveling nurse and the difficulties in finding affordable housing. These are things I wouldn’t have thought about if I hadn’t had this experience in the hospital. Everyone treated me as if I wasn’t sick, that I was just a normal person.
My experience at Beebe was one of the better hospital experiences I have had in my life. I’ve been to other hospitals, military hospitals, and hospitals in Virginia, but my experience at Beebe was outstanding, very caring, and very professional. I felt confident and safe at Beebe and I liked all the people. It was almost as if I had family taking care of me.
Mary and I have been supporters of Beebe for years. We were so very grateful for the care I received that we decided to join the Beebe Medical Foundation’s 1916 Club. We are proud to know our leadership support is helping Beebe to grow. It’s an important investment to meet the needs of our growing community.
To join the 1916 Club, go to www.beebehealthcare.org/donate. To tell your story in an article in the Cape Gazette, please contact Amanda Neal at [email protected]