Testimonial: Sonnie Straw
WORDS CAN'T EXPRESS MY THANKS. A message from a grateful mother.
I am sitting here crying, thinking about what your hospital did this past June. You really have no idea how my husband and I feel about your hospital – the staff there saved my son's life, a 19 year old who was stationed in Astoria with the US Coast Guard.
When I got the call from Asher that he had a spinal infection and had been admitted to the hospital, I was in shock. I couldn't think straight and was standing at my desk in Temecula, California (outside of San Diego) shaking. My husband, who was out of town on business, was trying to calm me down over the phone as he made the plane arrangements to get us both to Astoria, Oregon. That was the worse time in my life – to know my child was so far away, in a small town, facing this alone.
My son had been having pain for three months prior to being sent to Columbia Memorial Hospital for an MRI. I owe much gratitude to the Coast Guard doctor (Dr. Shin) for sending him to Columbia in the first place. An MRI was done very quickly and my son was immediately hospitalized.
The MRI was performed on Monday, June 23, he was hospitalized and operated on the following day.
My husband and I flew to be with him on that Monday. Honestly, we were concerned with this type of surgery being performed at your hospital – a one story hospital in a rural beachside community and by a doctor that had just opened the new CMH Orthopaedic clinic. Boy were we wrong, I'm embarrassed now to think that I had those negative thoughts.
After arriving in Portland we drove to Astoria, arriving at the hospital at 2:00 AM. It was so late, I thought I was going to have to battle the nurses to see my son. Again, I was so wrong. They were great, never once saying anything to us about us coming in so early in the morning. They knew we were tired and helped us find a hotel and even gave us food out of the "nurses frig" telling us to help ourselves any time.
We had a wonderful, wonderful nurse, Jesse Meyer, that was with Asher the majority of the time. She was the sweetest thing and was so personable to Asher, I really felt we had a personal bond with her while we were there.
We were there six days, not leaving Asher's side except to go to the cafeteria or to sleep at night. The "Mom" in my took over, wanting to care for him – wash his face, change his clothes, etc., I was shown where everything was and told to help myself.
The tech that did Asher's echogram (Daryl Greaser) a few days after the surgery (avid outdoors guy – hiking, rock climbing, etc.) was just awesome too. He spent so much time with us while he was completing the procedure – answering every single question I had.
The staff at CMH were very sweet and treated us with the same respect that we try to treat others. The nicest compliment we received (which might seem weird to others) was, as told to us by one of the staff members, "Everyone at CMH thinks this couldn't have happened to a nicer family." I thought that was the sweetest thing in the world. Yes, it was terrible and Asher could have died and/or been a quadriplegic, but we were told they couldn't believe the strong family unit we had and how much everyone enjoyed us. Nobody had to say that – they could have performed their "jobs" and said "hello" and "goodbye" only, but that was never the case.
What a wonderful hospital and staff – everyone, from the food service department (that made him pizza as a special request) to the nurses, technicians, doctors, etc., everyone was great.
We wanted to stay in Astoria because of the hospital and how well they took care of Asher and us. As much as we were thrilled to go home, we were also apprehensive because we would no longer have the staff at CMH, who we trusted so much, working with us. We really feel that your hospital has a large staff of employees that any other hospital would be lucky to have!
By the way, when we were leaving, we were scared leaving. I was given a piece of paper (lined paper) and written by hand was every number I could have asked for – nurses station, names, hospital staff, doctors and phone numbers and even the phone numbers for the San Diego area incase anything happened prior to getting Asher home. Nobody had to do that for me!
Asher is now home with us as he needs medical care for the next six-to-eight weeks (24 hour IV line hooked up) and is doing great! Although, I miss the care provided to him in Astoria. Yesterday I took Asher to the ER due to some pain he was feeling – after 3 1/2 hours of sitting in the ER waiting room the ER doctor asked what I "thought they could do for him?" I would just really like to acknowledge Columbia Memorial Hospital, your community and your staff.
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