Ron and his wife, Judi, enjoy a few days of skiing on Mt. Bachelor
just one month after Ron’s cardiac event.
“My story is not about my health or the condition that led me to the cardiac care unit at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, it’s about what I experienced when Asante was given the opportunity to make a difference.
As I recount events of December 7, 2015, many of the people who are the soul of the story are regrettably nameless. The swiftness of the circumstances I found myself in – combined with my own compromised condition – did not lend itself to the remembrance of names. However, the faces of genuine compassion will never be forgotten.
Following about 10 days struggling with symptoms that I thought were the flu, I reached out to my primary care doctor, Chris Morgan, MD, at Asante Physician Partners. Based on the symptoms I described, Dr. Morgan ran blood tests and brought me in for an appointment that afternoon.
The blood tests were negative; however Dr. Morgan looked at me and just knew he could not send me home with simple instructions for fluids and bed rest. Instead, he sent me for an immediate heart echo test at Asante Imaging.
The imaging specialist began the procedure with instructions to look for evidence of pericardial infection. The specialist told me that it was the doctor’s job to interpret the results, but confessed she did not see evidence of pericardial infection. She could have sent me home right then and there. Instead, she looked at me and my condition and knew she couldn’t just send me home.
She asked me to wait as she sought out and conferred with cardiologist, Dr. Junyang Lou, and Dr. Morgan. Based on some unexpected content observed in the heart echo, both doctors concurred that they needed to get me to the emergency department right away.
I was checked in swiftly and had a front row seat for the amazing activity that occurs in an ER staffed with compassionate, determined professionals. Their teamwork and cohesion was remarkable. While it took me a long time to grasp the danger I was in, it only took the emergency doctor, Victoria Harris, MD, and the ER staff moments to act decisively.
You see, I had walked into the imaging center not knowing that my heart was in AFib (atrial fibrillation). I didn’t know what AFib was, but the imaging person did. By the time I got to the ER my resting heart rate was 180 and rising. I was dying and I didn’t know it. But the right people did know and they reversed that outcome.
As I write this, I have been in the cardiac care unit for three days. And as the clock goes round and round, the compassionate and professional staff members like Michele my nurse tonight, are here with me – partnering with me – making me feel like their only focus is being a part of ‘Team Ron.’ All the while, I strongly suspect another patient nearby with a different name feels exactly the same.
Based on the facts of my care, I have concluded that I am alive today and progressing towards recovery because of Asante’s culture that fosters individual and collective extraordinary acts of compassion.
From my primary care doctor, to the imaging specialist, to the ER staff, and to the cardiology team, I have been warmly embraced and gently shepherded from crisis to a place where a healthy future still exists.
A thank you will never be enough, but here it is anyway....Thank you for my life.