LETTER: Grateful for local medical care

From reader Judy Banfield

Last month my partner, Jack Harrison, went in for surgery at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail. Though the surgery went well, he had some post-operative reactions that resulted in him being admitted to the ICU for four days.

An experience like this is always fraught with fear and anxiety, yet the care we received, which was extraordinary, did much to help alleviate the apprehension that we felt. Every staff person we dealt with, from our wonderful surgeon, Dr. Robinson, to the cleaners in our room, was caring, kind, and respectful. We were kept informed as to what was being done, and why it was being done.

All of our questions and concerns were respectfully addressed. We felt like we were actually part of the team and that we were all in this together. As my partner had special dietary concerns, the nutritionist on the team put together special meals for him. (Don’t think this would happen in a big city hospital!) It was very important for his diagnosis that he have a CT scan, and much as people express (legitimate) concerns about wait times, this was an emergency and he had the scan when needed.

One often hears complaints about the quality of our health care system. I don’t think people appreciate what we have. My sister in the United States had surgery several years ago at a “top hospital.” The lack of nursing staff was so severe that she had to hire her own private nurse. I have cousins in the States who pay $1,500 a month for basic care, have very high “co-pays” every time they access care, and have had to leave the hospital before they were ready because their insurance would only cover so much.

We are so lucky here. Our system isn’t perfect, but no system is. From my perspective, the care we received at KBRH was as good as it gets, as was the care my partner received at Kootenay Lake Hospital when he had to go to emergency a few times after he left Trail.

So a big thank you to all the medical people both in and out of the hospital (including Dr. Newson and the folks at the kidney clinic) who have been so wonderful and have literally saved my partner’s life.

Judy Banfield

Nelson

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