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Our Readers Respond

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Thanks to med community

TO THE EDITOR:

In the "quick to criticize, slow to praise" society that we seem to be living in these days, I would like to offer up a novel, and not usually heard "thank you."

One year ago, after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, my uncle Keith Johnsen of Quimby, chose to undergo chemo in Storm Lake instead of traveling to Sioux City. Through his determination, his wife's devoted care, and the excellent care he received here, in Storm Lake, had had the last year of his life. The staff in the oncology department was caring, supportive, and extremely capable and became friends. A few weeks ago, chemo was no longer an option for him and the Home Health Care staff that had only worked with him a brief time, became Hospice. The staff from Home Health Care and Hospice, along with Dr. Crippin, helped him make the last few decisions that he needed to make, but found too difficult, overwhelming, painful and final to make with his family. They also helped the family that would be left to deal with their loss, in a thousand different ways. No request was too much or ever denied, by any one of them.

Early Wednesday morning, we received the call we all dreaded, but knew would come form the nurses at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center. As family members gathered at his bedside, the staff took care of us, as well as their patient. While my beloved uncle was kept pain free and comfortable; they brought us extra chairs, water, beverages and whatever else we needed or wanted, sometimes appearing without any request. They were not just efficient and capable; they were attentive, caring, unobtrusive and compassionate. They helped our family turn a very sad time, into one we will hold in our hearts forever.

To say thank you is simply not enough. Our medical community is top notch, and deserves more recognition and thanks than they get. But, the thanks also goes to all of the area residents who support, contribute and use our hospital, clinics and medical services. Without you, these facilities would not be here. Your efforts on behalf of those who do use these facilities have not gone unnoticed. Thank you from a very grateful family.

- Donna Stanton, Storm Lake