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Phoebe ‘angels’ kept their eyes on patient

This is a result of my most recent emergency stay at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital here in Albany. I have only lived here a little over three years (both my wife and I are retired Marines) and every encounter from my mother-in-law visiting from out of state needing emergency care soon after our arrival and not knowing anyone, regular check ups and tests from Phoebe doctors, to this most recent stay, I would like to submit this letter recognizing those who work within the hospital caring for people like myself. Here is my story:

On May 1st, I came into the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s emergency room in extremis. I had an extremely low hemoglobin level — “next of kin” low — from a bleeding ulcer. From the very first contact with your staff, I learned that although the folks were all different shapes, ages and colors; their eyes were all the same: full of care and compassion ... the eyes of angels.

I spent four days on MICU; IV’s in both arms, bed-bound and thoroughly dependent on the nurses and nurse assistants for even the most basic functions. Being a normally independent and private person, I could not have been more terrified and embarrassed at my complete helplessness in front of strangers. That feeling lasted right up until the first staff member came in. Everyone on the MICU staff acted like a long lost relative; immediately smiling and assuring me their only reason for being there was to make me comfortable and get me healthy.

Nurses and nurse assistants constantly checked after my comfort, not just coming in when there was a requirement. Peeking in with a smile or looking through the window and waving, I saw angel eyes every waking moment ... and had no doubt those same eyes checked on me when I was asleep. When I was provided the most basic care, they would get me engaged in a conversation about family, work, faith or politics so that it seemed what was happening wasn’t really happening; this was just a conversation between friends.

I am not taking a position on the local politics concerning the hospital, its administration or community impacts. The business end was of no concern to me when the ambulance brought me in, just the people I began to meet as they came together to keep me alive and then get me well. I did not get all the names. Some of them I saw all four days on the unit, some a couple days and some just once, but I know all the faces ... and the eyes. I will never forget the angel eyes of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital MICU.

JAMES RODGERS

Leesburg