Letter: Be thankful this Thanksgiving for our healthcare

This Vernon resident was sent to Kelowna General Hospital

To the editor:

It’s Thanksgiving 2018. What am I thankful for?

Right now I’m thankful to be alive—courtesy the men and women in our healthcare system. What made all the difference was not so much the system, but the right help at the right time by the right people.

I’m thankful for the triage nurse and the ER physician at Vernon Jubilee Hospital who correctly diagnosed a subdural hematoma—bleeding on the brain—after I presented with unusual symptoms on a busy holiday Monday in August.

I’m thankful for the BC Ambulance staff whose proficiency and good humor helped to make the transfer to Kelowna General Hospital (my first such ride) seem almost normal.

I’m thankful for my neurosurgeon, Dr. Govender, whose expert “burr hole” surgery corrected a life-threatening condition and alleviated my stroke-like symptoms.

I’m thankful for the incredible nursing staff on the med-surgical fourth floor at KGH. What struck me most was the how they demonstrated such kindness and consideration while carrying out their professional duties.

I was also impressed by the cheerful help from volunteers, the driving skills and positive attitude of the porters shuttling us to and from operating rooms or Radiology, and the quiet but thorough work of the cleaning staff.

I’m thankful for the many friends and family members who offered words of encouragement and prayers—and for God who answered those prayers.

Last, but not least, I’m thankful for my daughters who presented me with a hat that featured a perfect inscription for playing golf: “I had brain surgery. What’s your excuse?”

Having been involved in the governance and leadership side of healthcare for many years, it was heartening to see how well things actually worked from the perspective of a patient. It’s an experience I won’t forget, and something I’ll always be thankful for.

Arthur J. Enns

Vernon

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