LETTER: Grateful for great medical treatment

On a Sunday afternoon in mid-November I was required to have an emergency medical procedure.

On a Sunday afternoon in mid-November I was required to have an emergency medical procedure which first involved a visit to the emergency department at the Nelson hospital and after diagnosis I was transferred by ambulance to the Trail hospital. In Trail (the next morning) an appendectomy was performed and after a short stay, I was released and am happy to say I quickly returned to good health.

But to say I am grateful for the medical treatment I received would be an understatement. I simply cannot find adequate words to properly thank all the medical staff involved and it remains a mystery to me how they can perform to such a high and caring level when obviously the facilities are overburdened to the max and chronically understaffed even at baseline staffing levels.

In particular I want to commend the receptionist who was on duty in Nelson emergency, the triage nurse who directed my treatment, Drs. McBride and Sparrow who attended me and provided diagnosis, the nursing staff on duty who cared for me and organized the ambulance that transported me to Trail, the ambulance attendants who made the trip almost pleasurable and who also expedited my admittance to the Trail hospital so seamlessly and the duty nurse on the surgery ward who organized my admittance to a ward in spite of the fact surgery was still happening at 10 p.m. It was amazing to me that all these folks, under such pressure, could continually respond with such caring and sincerity.

It gets even more amazing. At about 2 a.m., I was visited in my room by the surgeon, Dr. Schumacher, and the anesthesiologist whose name I have unfortunately misfiled, apologizing to me that my surgery was re-scheduled for 7 a.m., as they had been in the operating room for over 10 hours as another procedure had taken longer than scheduled. Obviously I was stable but would that be okay with me? They wanted to get a few hours rest before going back into surgery. Can you imagine? I was totally overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and caring that these two doctors, after an unusually hectic day in surgery would come to my room to explain to me my new schedule.

Sure enough, at 7 a.m. I was whisked down to surgery, had my procedure by these same doctors, waking up a couple of hours later in a very busy recovery room. As all this had occurred on a Sunday and Monday, I had no opportunity to see my family doctor, Dr. Hii. (Incidentally, he is the greatest family doctor one could wish for.) But who walks in the door of my room after recovery? Yes, in walks Dr. Hii who conducts a post-op checkup and organizes a follow-up appointment. Unbelievable! Where else in the world would one find medical professionals like all of the above? We are so lucky to have such dedicated people in our system in the Kootenays and as previously mentioned I don’t know enough words to adequately express my thanks and appreciation, except thank you all so very, very much.

Terry Gainer, Nelson

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