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Patient Stories

Emergency Department Physician Takes Time to Listen

Media file:195362 Mary Ellen South CEC_0.jpg
As a volunteer writer for Beebe Medical Foundation, I am usually writing a story about someone else expressing their praise and positive experience at Beebe Healthcare. This time I am sharing my own story and honoring an Emergency Department physician, Emily Massey, MD.
Dr. Massey attended to me on an extremely busy Friday afternoon after I arrived at the hospital by ambulance. I had spent the last few weeks trying to come to grips with medication changes for an ongoing anxiety challenge. Friday's "attack" became severe with uncontrolled breathing and minimal alertness. The ambulance crew had done their best to settle me down and make a thorough diagnosis, but it was determined I needed to be transported and seen at Beebe Healthcare. My age plus my constant struggle with pain made this a good decision.
Even more important was my great fortune in seeing Dr. Massey as my physician that day. She went over my case with great care, listening to both me and my husband speak of our struggles while trying to come to grips with our problem. She was specific, direct, and very much on point with what needed to be done to help me sustain my battle. She acted as a caring human being, not just a credentialed professional knocking off a "hit list" of to-do’s. She made recommendations of others to consult for after care, in spite of a very rushed environment. Her demeanor alone gave me confidence and assurance that I was going to conquer what had brought me there.
Anxiety and depression are ongoing problems in our aging population. With physical disabilities taking over our bodies and limiting activities, it is easy for our minds to become negative. Add pain to the equation, and each day can become a constant struggle. I rest much easier because Beebe’s Emergency Department, a Level III trauma center, has the capability to manage the majority of injured patients and is connected to a statewide Trauma Network.
Beebe’s ED has also opened the treatment area so a family member or friend can accompany a patient, which eases anxiety for everyone involved. Also offered through the ED in Lewes is the Beebe Healthcare Family Life program, which includes the Domestic Violence Victim’s Advocate Program and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, aka SANE.
Beebe is building a new freestanding emergency department in Millville to serve South Coastal residents and visitors, which will open in May 2020. I was one of more than 50,000 patients who visit Beebe’s ED every year, and my husband Michael and I made a donation to support the ED through Beebe Medical Foundation’s Celebrate Excellent Care program. We wanted to show our appreciation to the department and Dr. Massey. We encourage you to do the same and support our not-for-profit community healthcare system.
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of individuals, businesses, and private foundations. Gifts to support Beebe are made to the Beebe Medical Foundation and are tax-deductible as allowed by law. To learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, call Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900, or email [email protected].
Caption: Mike and Mary Ellen South made a special visit to Beebe’s Emergency Department to thank Dr. Emily Massey, center, for her compassionate and excellent care.