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Path to Surgery: Taking patients’ pain seriously

May 29, 2010

Dear Ms. Croushore:

For some months, my 22-year-old daughter had been having gallbladder attacks. The accurate diagnosis and treatment of her health problem was complicated by the fact that her primary care physician is located in Perrysburg, Ohio, and her father and I recently moved to the State of Delaware.

During months of severe chest pain and pressure, difficulty breathing, and many sleepless nights, our daughter had been erroneously diagnosed at different times as having acid reflux, anxiety issues, and bruised cartilage in her rib cage. Even after our daughter researched gallbladder problems online and tried to convince various health care professionals of her problem, everyone considered her too young to have call bladder issues. She finally was able to convince her primary physician to order an ultrasound, which detected gallstones; but being able to convince someone to do something to help resolve the above-named symptoms was another matter.

My husband and I drove from Delaware to Cincinnati after receiving a tearful phone call from our daughter telling us that she had constant pressure on her chest. Fortunately for our daughter, a friend recommended that she contact Dr. Robert Bradley, a surgeon affiliated with The Christ Hospital.

Dr. Bradley took our daughter’s pain and frustration seriously and gave her credit for knowing her own body. He scheduled surgery to remove our daughter’s gallbladder, and his calm reassurance that everything would be all right got all three of us through the time prior to our arrival at The Christ Hospital.

Arriving at the hospital, we were greeted promptly and most courteously. Admitting our daughter was a breeze. Rhonda, my daughter’s nurse was wonderful. As efficient and professional as she was, she still joked with our daughter and put her at ease. Rhonda’s infectious laughter and bubbly personality were just what our daughter needed that morning. And I must admit, it helped me to relax, also.

In fact, all of the personnel with whom we came in contact at The Christ Hospital were wonderful. From the anesthesiologist, to the volunteer ladies who walked around the waiting area asking family members if the needed anything, to the recovery nurses – everyone seemed to go out of their way to be helpful, pleasant and caring.

My husband and I were particularly impressed with the innovative Family Vue system, which allows nervous family members to track the patient’s progress without having to bother busy hospital staff for updates. We’ve told many people about this system since our daughter’s surgery, and no one we’ve told has ever seen or heard of this. We appreciate that while our daughter was being cared for, our worries were addressed at the same time.

When my husband and I took our daughter to your hospital, we really knew nothing about it. As you can imagine, it can be quite unsettling to entrust your child to an unknown institution and hope for the best outcome. Our family has had dealings with many hospitals in several different states for various reasons, but we feel that The Christ Hospital is by far the best hospital and/or health care facility we have utilized.

As it turned out, Dr. Bradley told us that it was good our daughter’s gall bladder was removed since it was inflamed. My husband and I were able to leave our daughter in Cincinnati and return home knowing that she had received the best possible care from Dr. Bradley and staff at The Christ Hospital.

Our daughter had her follow-up visit with Dr. Bradley, and she’s doing fine, better than she has in months. Many thanks from our family to your staff and volunteers. We are extremely grateful to everyone there for the excellent work that is being done on all levels.

Sincerely,

Mary K. Nelson

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