LETTERS: Caring hands make a difference

The staff of Penticton Regional Hospital provided stellar care and are always ready with a smile.

On Nov. 6, 2014, I survived a major heart attack.

The ambulance arrived in about 10 minutes and set to work trying to stabilize me for transport to Penticton Regional Hospital emergency. The crew were very good at relaying information, and dealing with me, but also my wife.

The emergency staff worked with the precision of a well-oiled machine. My heart rate was over 150, so Kim and Tim H. were allowed to stay in the room with me while the team worked. Reducing the unbelievable pain and the escalating heart rate were paramount; two hours were involved in this alone.

During this time Kim was sent out and advised to call family as there was doubt I was going to make it. Tim was asked to stay in the room in case I did die and my wife needed help to deal with it. Two different sets of drugs were given, the first not providing the wanted and needed results. I was then sent to Kelowna for surgery.

Kim was allowed to travel with the ambulance, for whom she has an increased admiration for, the trip was made in about 30 minutes. Ambulance crews get far too little respect for what they do, almost forgotten in our system. They are provided little courtesy by drivers on our roads today, and in cases looked at as an annoyance. They deal with all segments of society, often in far from ideal conditions. Please be considerate and pull over when you see an ambulance with lights on, you may be saving a life!

I was transported back to PRH and the ICU ward where the nurses work tirelessly to provide care. Several days passed and I was moved to SP3, room 332, bed 2. Even though these nurses tend many patients, I never felt I was not being looked after. From bringing ice water, regular heart checks, blood draws, medication, and a myriad of other duties, they also made you feel like a valued person. A real skill, especially for what seemed to be a very young group of professionals.

Jan. 2, 2015, I’m back in emergency with chest pain. Again, the staff of PRH provided stellar care. The staff here work in crowded conditions, yet they are always ready with a smile. Thank you nurse Kim and the rest of the staff.

Keith Bevan

Penticton