Iowa Specialty Hospital

Thoughts from Holly

May 30, 2022

Thoughts from Holly

On Friday, May 13, 2022 I had my 25th anniversary working at ISH, formally known as WMC and before that formally known as CMH.  To say I have seen a lot of changes in the past 25 years is an understatement.  When I started we had about 130 employees, and it was the Clarion hospital only.  We had no clinics at all, and Belmond was a separate entity.  Does it seem like it’s been 25 years?  Nope, not at all.  This organization is so amazing, and it is rewarding in different ways all of the time.  One of the things asked from all of us during Hospital Week was to share the story of “our why” we chose to work in healthcare.

My story initially was that a friend encouraged me to apply for an opening here. I applied and interviewed with Steve and was hired.  My true “why” this place is so amazing to me, and that I wouldn’t be anywhere else, is below:

Our youngest son was three years old, and my husband, Steve,  and I thought he had the flu.  A couple of days after getting sick he was not getting better, and we were very concerned so brought him to the Clarion ER.  We had amazing care with Dr. Whitters as our doctor.  He shared that Alec was very sick, and they were going to admit him.  Once admitted, they completed a CT scan, did bloodwork and gave him fluids.  Everything came back inconclusive, but he was getting sicker and sicker.  Dr. Whitters, along with a student Andrew Odland (Dr. Odland) who was job shadowing, came in to visit with my husband and me. Dr. Whitters shared with us that Alec needed to go to the “best” in his words and that was Blank Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Whitters had already consulted with them, and they would be waiting for us.  He said we needed to get our ducks in a row quickly, and we could take Alec in our personal vehicle and they would be waiting.  We had a four year old at home as well, but with an amazing support system of grandparents and friends, we made this happen very quickly; packed our bags and off we went.  

Needless to say, that ride was very scary as Alec was super lethargic, and I just rubbed his little lips with ice chips until we arrived.  When we got to Blank they met us at the ER door and whisked him away.  The staff took us up to what would be Alec’s room for the next week, and got us settled and shared what they would be doing until Alec got to us.  When he got up to his room a little later, he was hooked to an IV and was so happy to see us.  As the nurse was getting him settled he had a seizure.  It was horrifying to watch this as his eyes were open, but he was unresponsive.  The next day it was determined that his appendix had ruptured, and he was very sick and full of infection from his appendix.  They decided not to do surgery since he was so young and just let him heal and have his body recover and his appendix would close.  

A couple of days went by and he finally started to eat something and then everything changed again.  The doctor shared they ran a blood test, and he would most likely relapse so surgery needed to be done to remove his appendix.  Before we knew it they whisked him away again and surgery was completed.  The next morning the nurse came to get him again to put in a PICC line so that he could have IV antibiotics.  They also told us that we would need to have training on how to administer his antibiotics once he was released.  By this time, the only people he trusted were Steve and I, so I didn’t want to go down this path.  I called back to CMH, and Dr. Whitters and his staff said not to have the training and that the nursing staff on the floor would take care of him and administer the antibiotics for us.  The staff at Blank didn’t believe us and said that the hospital would never agree to this.  I called back to the hospital and had the nurse talk to the CMH employees and they verified this, so after a couple days we were discharged and came home.  

We came out to the hospital every 12 hours, and he had his IV antibiotics and recovered in record time and was back to his usual self in no time.  Our care at Blank was amazing, but this is my “why” that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else: the care of Dr. Whitters and sending us on when he knew it was the right thing to do, the care of our amazing employees who visited us at Blank and coming home, to providing his IV needs with his PICC Line.  I know we all have amazing stories and I can’t wait to continue to hear about everyone’s stories throughout the rest of the year and years to come.

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