Nurses never get sick
Michele Seiler begins by sharing, "There are several angles to my story. First, I'm a nurse, and nurses never get sick. I was in denial. I finally had to admit that I had a problem, and that took an awful lot. Second, I've been working at Beebe since 1993."
In Michele's current role, she is the steward of quality data for the interventional cardiac department, which leads to the third angle.
"I lead a team that reviews all of the data for interventional cardiology procedures, vascular and heart surgeries, so I know each member of this particular team and the work they do very well. I know Beebe team members have provided excellent care for over 100 years, but I was still in denial that I myself needed some of that care."
One day back in October 2015, Michele was in her office, and could feel her heartbeat starting to go a little crazy. Michele asked Sherry Daisey to check her pulse, and Sherry called for Dr. R. Alberto Rosa, who said, "Michele, what is going on?"
Michele says she told Rosa, "'Oh, I have had this on and off for years - I can usually make it stop, but it's not stopping this time!' I was told it was SVT (supraventricular tachycardia and atrial flutter)."
Rosa recommended that Michele see Dr. Firas El Sabbagh, a cardiac electrophysiologist. El Sabbagh later told her, "Michele, this SVT isn't going to kill you, but at some point it is going to interfere with your lifestyle."
Michele fast forwards her story to March 2017. "I am at the final day of the Rolling Stones exhibit on a Sunday afternoon in the West Village in NYC. I could feel my heart starting to beat really fast. I tried to talk myself out of it. I snuck away from my friend and sat on a cold floor in the corner of the room for a while.
"I thought about going to a hospital in NYC, only for a minute, but I just couldn't do it.
"Then my heart rate started coming down, and I knew I could wait until I returned home to Beebe.
"On Monday, I called Dr. El Sabbagh and said, 'OK, let's do this. It is now interfering with my lifestyle. I'm going to get this fixed.'
"Dr. El Sabbagh scheduled my procedure for late April.
"From the minute I checked in at registration, until the minute I left with my mother, the entire experience was incredible. Sol Oxman in registration was lovely. Joyce Stambaugh, Marybeth Palkon and Tammy Kelly were the Cath Lab nurses who prepared me for my procedure and oversaw my initial recovery. Dr. El Sabbagh was assisted by Dana Schwartz, Amy Bradshaw and Denise Pecora, PA.
"To be on the receiving side, to see the people that I work with every day taking care of me, now as a patient, that was just amazing.
"One of the things I remember in particular, Dr. El Sabbagh's assistant, Dana Schwartz, was right by my side through my procedure. Dana kept reassuring me, making me feel like I was being cared for by a friend. It made me feel really good.
"About halfway through the procedure, I asked if someone could give my mom an update. They were all very responsive and updated my mom right away.
"I was admitted to the fifth floor where Erica Njie and Nicole Lowe were my nurses, and Michele Banks and Tashia Hughes were my CNAs. Dr. Rosa stopped by and checked on me that night. I had a nice dinner and watched the Phillies game. Dr. El Sabbagh checked on me the first thing in the morning and shortly thereafter, I was out the door and on my way home. It was great. My recovery was easy. I rested at home on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Monday morning I was back at work.
"I learned from my experience that it's OK for people who work in healthcare to actually use healthcare. I'm never going to let a concern with my health go untreated again. Because of my work at Beebe, I knew the quality of our Cardiac and Vascular program from the numbers. I knew the math. I knew the awards. I now know the quality of the program from my own personal experience. I now say to my family and my friends, 'If you are ever in need of coronary or vascular intervention, I have experienced and celebrated Beebe's excellent care myself, and I know you are going to be just fine.' I'm proud to be a part of Beebe Healthcare's Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence."
Beebe Healthcare was named one of America's 100 Best Hospitals for Coronary Intervention Procedures by Healthgrades in 2017. Beebe is the only hospital on Delmarva to receive this recognition, and it is among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for coronary intervention procedures. "We are pleased to share this recognition from Healthgrades with our patients and community members, as it demonstrates Beebe's ongoing commitment to quality," said Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, president and CEO, Beebe Healthcare.
Michele believes in Beebe and made a generous donation to the Beebe Medical Foundation to celebrate the excellent care she received from her teammates in the Cardiac Cath Lab and CDU.
Michele is also a member of the Beebe Medical Foundation's Giving Hands Society, an exclusive opportunity for Beebe team members to support Beebe through a weekly payroll deduction. One hundred percent of the contributions made to the fund directly benefit Beebe Healthcare and all of its locations. It is a wonderful way for Beebe team members to also support Beebe.
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: Shown Celebrating Excellent Care are (l-r) some of the Beebe team members who cared for Michele: Dr. Firas El Sabbagh, Sol Oxman, Michele Seiler and Sherry Daisey.