‘It was like we were the only people in the hospital!’
Marion Donahue shares her story with excitement and great appreciation for everyone who was a part of her care at Beebe Healthcare.
"I went to the hospital because I was having severe chest pains. It was straight through the center of my chest and right through to my back. I remember the pain started at 9 p.m. I thought, I'm just going to lay down, it will go away. Around 11:45, it hadn't gone away and I decided I should go to the hospital and get checked out. I really appreciate that I was so close to Beebe.
"My husband Phil and I were at the Emergency Department in four minutes. We filled out all of my paperwork and I got a little nervous. Things were very busy and I wondered how long I would have to wait. The next thing I knew the nurses came right out into the waiting area and got me. In minutes, I was in a room in the ED.
"There was one call, and everyone came in to provide me with care. What really amazed me was how all of those people, five different nurses and technicians, how everyone knew exactly where they were supposed to be and what they were supposed to do. They did an EKG and told me that my blood pressure and heart rate were high. They were very busy, so I just relaxed there, on a nice cot, overnight.
"The next morning, that's when I met Nurse Practitioner Charlene Madanat for the first time. She looked at me and asked, ‘How are you doing?’ I told her I was tired and my cot really wasn't very comfortable. Charlene said, 'Well, we will just have to see about this. You'll be upstairs in a room in an hour.' Next thing I know, this little angel came and took me upstairs to my room.
Charlene came to see me very often. She was with me and Phil through everything, like she was our personal advocate. It was amazing. Charlene made me feel good when I talked to her. She has a nice, soft tone and she would hold my hand, which took away all of my worry and nervousness. Charlene kept letting me know that things were OK. They kept checking my blood work, every four hours, and there was never a sign of a heart attack.
"Later that day they took me downstairs for more cardiac testing. A lovely nurse, Sherry Daisey, took all of my information and let me know that I was going to have a stress test. The next thing I knew I got really sick. I was dizzy and nauseous and everything came crashing down. Another nurse, Anne Villalobos, said I think we need to lay her down. I then found myself on a stretcher with all of these people around me."
Marion's husband Phil added, "When Marion crashed in the lab, I thought she was having a real heart attack and that she was gone. One of the nurses came and found me a chair and told me that everything was going to be alright. She got me a glass of water. Charlene came and checked on me and Marion a couple of times. I was very worried, but so many people came over to reassure me."
Marion explained, "My blood pressure had dropped really low and they couldn't find a pulse. They called for Dr. Robert Myers, interventional cardiologist. The next thing I know, there were three nurses, two doctors, and another nurse with a machine, to see my heart. They looked and talked, and Dr. Myers sat right down next to me and asked, 'Marion, how are you doing?' So we just talked for a little while about how I felt. He was so very personable. Dr. Myers is very sweet. He also talked to Phil because he could see that Phil was upset. He is a good listener, he's gentle, and he reassured Phil. I liked Dr. Myers from the first minute I talked to him.
"Everyone just took such good care of me. They put a call in and two more cardiologists came over to talk about what was happening. They decided I hadn't had a heart attack but they found inflammation around my heart. Pericarditis - that's what caused my pain. Dr. Myers recognized the symptoms and said that his father had this same condition several years ago. At this point, I knew I was going to be alright.
"I was released from the hospital and had to take medicine at home for about a week. Dr. Myers released me as a patient and I have been fine ever since. I have only ever had a general practitioner. I never had a heart doctor, but, if I ever need a heart doctor, I'll be back to see Dr. Myers. The team in Dr. Myers' office is so wonderful. We laughed and joked a lot. They always gave me a chuckle.
"Later my daughter teased me, saying, 'Mom, I know why you did it. I think you didn't want to have the stress test and that's why you blacked out.' Of course I didn't do that, it just happened that way. But, I wasn't really looking forward to the stress test.
"Starting in the Emergency Department and including everyone in the Cardiac Stress Testing area, everyone was so personal and professional. You would have thought my last name was Beebe! During my stay there was never a minute that I didn't think things weren't being taken care of. It was quite an experience and it was a good one - it really was. I think about how I felt the night I went in and how I felt two days later when I came home, and it was like night and day."
Beebe is the only hospital on Delmarva recognized by Healthgrades as America's 100 Best Hospitals for Coronary Intervention Procedures in 2017. The recognition places Beebe among the Top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for coronary intervention procedures. Jeffrey M. Fried, president & CEO, Beebe Healthcare, said, "Our cardiologists are always quick to point out that what they are able to do, in serving our community, is only possible because we have such a wonderful team of nurses, clinicians, and other staff who support their efforts to provide the best possible care for their patients. It is an honor to have such a dedicated team of cardiac professionals in place at Beebe, and all of our team members across our organization take great pride in the cardiac programs our doctors and clinicians have developed over the years."
As a community-owned, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe continues to depend on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts, large or small, to Beebe Healthcare, are tax deductible and are channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Please consider making a gift today and share your amazing stories with our community. To make your proud personal donation or to learn more about Celebrate Excellent Care, go online to www.beebemedicalfoundation.org or contact the Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900 or write to [email protected].
Caption: Celebrating Excellent Care are (l-r) Phil Donahue, Nurse Practitioner Charlene Madanat, Marion Donahue, Anne Villalobos, RN, Sherry Daisey, RN and Dr. Robert Myers, interventional cardiologist.