To the editor,
Hopefully you’ll find space for a shout out to an all-too-frequently maligned segment of our society. I refer to those who work in the health care sector. Bad-news stories abound of patients suffering because of inadequacies of health care systems and providers. Thankfully, my experience is so completely different to what I’ve repeatedly read about for so many years.
My wife was recently hospitalized at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital undergoing a six-week course of heavy-duty antibiotics. Susan was fighting serious blood, bladder and colon infections that wreaked havoc on her 81-year-old body and mind. These infections combined with some medications caused delirium intensifying her pre-existing dementia. She underwent a multitude of different tests, with no stone left unturned trying to take care of all of Susan’s needs. Complication on top of complication were discovered, and dealt with in the biggest uphill battle we faced in nearly a half-century together. Despite all the valiant efforts of everyone concerned, Susan lost her brave battle Jan. 10.
I spent about eight hours every day in her isolated room for her 45 days in the hospital, and 33 hours at the end, but there is no other place in the world I would sooner have been. During those hours, I saw first-hand the wonderful staff at NRGH, where Susan’s every need was taken care of in such a dedicated and loving way by fantastic teams of doctors, nurses, aids, technicians, therapists, cleaners, cooks, porters, administrators, ambulance crews and many more behind the scenes whom we never meet.
As usual during the recent festive celebrations, there was a lot of talk about angels, some were perched atop Christmas trees, but the ones Susan and I encountered at NRGH come in all shapes and sizes, every creed and race, all generations and genders. Suddenly, all those extra-loud and mealy-mouthed premiers, parliamentarians, prime ministers, presidents, princes, potentates and pontificating professional pundits whom I used to find so interesting with their politics of phoney fear and false hopes, have become entirely insignificant and seem to vanish in the haze. We stand in awe of the love and care and highly professional devotion of the band of angels at NRGH.
Bernie Smith, Parksville
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.