Where Miracles Happen Every Day--Recognizing National Hospital Week

5/7/2015

A hospital is more than a place where people go to heal, it is a part of the community that fosters health and represents hope. From providing treatment and comfort to the sick, to welcoming new life into the world, hospitals are central to a healthy and optimistic community. This year the theme for National Hospital Week is “Where Miracles Happen Every Day.”

“National Hospital Week is a celebration of people,” says Joe Grossman, ARH President and CEO. “We’re extremely proud of our ARH staff, and we recognize the important role each staff member plays in delivering high quality, compassionate care to our patients and our communities. It is their dedication and expertise that contributes to the miracles which happen in our hospitals.”

Looking at what constitutes a miracle, Webster’s Dictionary defines it as a very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement.  Edna Lambert, who was a patient at her hometown ARH hospital for 48 days, says she is a walking miracle due to the excellent medical treatment and care she received from physicians, nurses and staff while she was an inpatient along with the specialized home health services she is still receiving.

“I had always been a healthy, active senior,” shares Lambert. “There is nothing I loved more than to take long walks at the nearby national park. For the last 25 years, I have walked around 12 miles per week in the park, enjoying the natural beauty of southeastern Ky.”

One afternoon after walking in the park, the unthinkable happened—Lambert was involved in a serious car accident. She was taken to the Emergency Department at her local ARH hospital where she was quickly evaluated and prepared for helicopter transport to UK Healthcare.

“I remember seeing all this blood on my legs and then feeling dizzy and weak,” recalls Lambert. “The doctor and nurses were asking me questions and working hard to try to stop the bleeding. They were so kind and caring, trying to keep me calm as I began to realize the seriousness of my situation. When my daughter arrived, they allowed her to stay with me the entire time even when they were moving me to the helicopter. The Air Evac Lifeteam nurses explained everything that would happen in flight and somehow I knew I was in good hands.”

During the flight, Lambert’s blood pressure dropped suddenly and the flight nurse worked diligently to keep her alive.

“I had no idea until much later that I came so close to dying in the helicopter,” Lambert shares. “Obviously, God wasn’t ready for me yet, and I thank him every day for the experienced team of physicians and nurses who knew exactly what to do to save my life.”

When Lambert arrived at UK Healthcare, she recalls: “I was first in their ER and a doctor was working hard to save my leg.  Later I was moved to a critical care unit for about five days, undergoing a series of tests and treatments. When I was told I had multiple fractures in my pelvis, right arm and both ankles along with serious leg wounds, I knew I had a long road to recovery, but I was determined to get my life back.”

Thankfully Lambert did not have to have pelvic surgery, but she needed extensive physical therapy as well as daily wound care for her right leg. Also Lambert could not move her right arm, and needed shoulder surgery.  Learning that she could receive needed medical and surgical care at her hometown ARH hospital, Lambert chose to be transferred back to her hometown hospital for this long-term care.

“There’s nothing like being close to home and receiving quality medical care,” says Lambert.   “I am so thankful that I could count on my local ARH hospital to have skilled and compassionate doctors, nurses and physical therapists whose combined expertise gave me the ability to walk again and use my right arm.

Lambert was in her local ARH hospital for 48 days in the Swing Bed program, receiving daily wound care and physical therapy. During this time, an ARH orthopedic surgeon performed surgery on her right shoulder and she then received occupational therapy to get strength back in her right hand and arm.

“Learning to walk again was the biggest challenge of my life; the physical therapy staff cheered me on with every step I took until I could walk unassisted,” Lambert shares.  “When I reflect on all that has happened since my car accident, I am amazed how God poured out his blessings on me through the medical expertise of the ARH hospital staff who gave me excellent care every day that I was in the Swing Bed program.

Lambert has had a long journey to recovery.  After she was discharged from the Swing Bed program, ARH Home Health nurses and therapists began caring for her in the comfort of her home.  

“Home Health nurses and therapists came to my home several days a week and they, too, were such a blessing,” states Lambert. “Whenever I became anxious, they encouraged me and reassured me that my wounds were healing and in time I would be able to use my right arm again.  Home Health staff has helped me see how far I have come in my recovery process.”

When asked if she believes she received a miracle during her recovery, Lambert smiles and quickly answers: “Definitely, I was showered with miracles! Rarely does anyone my age (she was 82 years young at the time of the accident) survive the injuries I sustained from the car accident. My leg wound was so serious that at one time, staff was concerned that I might lose my leg. Still, through it all I had a peace that sustained me. Family and friends from my church as well as ARH chaplains would visit often and pray that I would once again walk in the park.”

According to Lambert, those prayers were answered. “I felt such an overpowering joy when I took my first step walking the park trail again, and I have been walking several miles each week ever since.  I would like to thank all the ARH staff for their excellent care and especially for treating me like family. Our community is so blessed to have such an outstanding hospital.”

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