Cumberland Times-News

January 11, 2014

We’re fortunate to have this hospital and those who staff it

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— After a nice dinner at our daughters home on Christmas day we returned home and I was relaxing in my recliner awaiting the evening news to start.

At 6:20 p.m., a terrific pain hit both my arms, my chest, and my lower jaw. I called my wife for a aspirin and told her to get me to the hospital, which is only five miles away. Our son, who lives near by drove us to the hospital.

By the time we reached the emergency room a half dozen of our children and grand children were waiting for us.I was rushed in and hooked to machines and the ER doctor announced that I was having a bad heart attack.

He phoned heart Dr. Singh who arrived shortly to perform a heart cauterization. He called in Dr. Nelson, head heart surgeon of the Heart Institute, for immediate surgery. He performed three heart by-passes and removed four blockages.

The next day I was completely out of it and the following day I awakened with tubes down my throat, stomach,and I think anywhere they could stick one plus all the tubes, IVs, monitors, etc. I was forced to lay on my back, which I never do, for the next three days.

This was the hardest part of the whole ordeal. To this day I have had no pain in my chest or the right leg where veins were removed to make repairs. I have 39 staples and several stitches in that leg.

On the fourth day tubes and IVs were slowly removed and I could lay on my side, partially, and it really felt good.

After the sixth day I could go home or to the inpatient rehab clinic, which I chose. Dr. Janjua and his staff do an excellent job returning heart patients to their homes.

This was like moving into a different world. Fitness and heart exercises morning and afternoon. Had to walk, with help at first, to the units dining rooms for meals and good conversations. Sure glad that I chose to stay, helped me and took a big burden off of my wife.

Before Dr. Nelson released me I thanked him and said I was sorry to ruin his Christmas day. He replied, “ Mr. Steward, I don’t think you realize what bad shape you were in on arrival and it had to be done immediately.”

I feel that the good Lord answered many prayers and has given me a new life to serve.

I've always said that for a little mountain town of only 23,000 we are very fortunate to have such a nice big modern hospital with such highly trained doctors, nurses, and other specialists, all of which were very professional and at the same time very caring.

My thanks go out to all who cared for me and thanks for your kindness.

Jack A. Steward