To the Editor:
Recently my wife experienced a medical emergency, the outcome of which we feel merits sharing. On the pitch black early morning of August 23, my wife fell at our home, suffering severe damage to her hip. At about 3 am, in response to my 911 call, three members of the Tri-town Ambulance corps arrived at our house in minutes. Calmly and reassuringly taking over, they stabilized Barbara and carried her down a challenging flight of stairs, through the house and across a deck to the waiting ambulance. Throughout the trip to the hospital, all three maintained their calm assurance, helpful to Barbara in controlling pain and stress.
Soon after her 4 am admission to the hospital, my wife was joined by Dr. William Cater, staff surgeon. He carefully explained, quietly and in detail, the form which necessary emergency surgery would take in order to remove a shattered ball in one of the hip joints and to replace it with a new one. The surgical procedure required four and a half hours. During the three-week hospital stay which followed, we were both impressed by the high level of care and support shown by the hospital’s nursing and rehab staffs. Since then, the same has been true of members of the Vineyard Nursing Association who have lent professional support through an extensive period of home care.
However, that is not the conclusion of the story. What followed at the end of that very first long day was not anticipated on our parts, but it speaks volumes about Island life. As I arrived home, a dinner prepared by a friend appeared magically at our doorstep. During the following eight weeks, while we were almost completely confined to our home, amazing dinners continued to appear, one-by-one, all on a schedule devised by a thoughtful and generous member of the community.
It’s been a long trial, however Barbara and I couldn’t have been supported by a more dedicated team of professionals or a more caring group of friends.