An A+ for caring and compassion

May 7, 2019

“Hello, Mom? Is that you? What’s the matter? Do you want to go to the ER? I’ll be right there.”

Luckily, Mom lives really close by. Why did she wait all day to call, until I got home from work? She said what she always says, “I didn’t want to bother you,” and I replied, “Mom, that’s why we asked you to move here from Philly, so we’d be very close and be able to help each other.”

I can’t get mad. Her heart is in the right place. But this sounded bad. Mom had a really serious headache for almost an entire day, and was having difficulty walking and maintaining her balance. I prayed that she wasn’t having a stroke, because I know that time is of the essence with stroke treatment. We pulled up to the Emergency Department at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes, and I went to get Mom a wheelchair. I could see there was no line at patient registration, but there were people in the waiting area.

We were called into a Triage Room and seen by a nurse almost immediately, then asked to go back to the waiting area. Only minutes had passed when an imaging tech came over to us and said, “Mrs. Woznicki, I’m Andrea Montgomery, and I would like to take you for a CT scan. We want to make sure your headache isn’t being caused by something more serious. This will only take about 20 minutes, and when we’re done, I’ll bring you right back here with your son.”

As Andrea took Mom off for her scan, I recalled what I had learned about strokes and the urgency of prompt medical care. I thought, “It will be good if Mom comes right back. But if they move her right into a treatment room, it could be something more serious.” I’m not a medical professional, so I really didn’t know if that was true. But I’m just like every other family member with their loved one in the hospital. We all hope and pray for the best.

Beebe Healthcare, as a certified Primary Stroke Center, is recognized by emergency medical personnel as a hospital of choice in a stroke emergency. Beebe Healthcare has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for more than five years. This award recognizes Beebe’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines developed with the latest scientific evidence. Beebe Healthcare provides a nationally recognized standard of care that fosters the best possible outcomes for stroke patients.

Andrea brought Mom back to the waiting area and I breathed a sigh of relief. Soon we were taken to a treatment room where we were greeted by an amazing nurse. “Hello, Mrs. Woznicki, I’m Dawn West and I am going to be your nurse tonight. I’m a registered nurse with 23 years of experience here at Beebe’s Emergency Department. I understand you have a really bad headache. Let’s start by making you as comfortable as we can. Are these lights too bright? Would you like a warm blanket?”

A wonderful physician was next to enter Mom’s room. “Hello, Mrs. Woznicki, I’m Dr. Monte Spangler and I will be taking care of you tonight.” Dr. Spangler shared the results of Mom’s CT scan and dismissed our fear: “You haven’t had a stroke or a brain bleed, but I’d like to keep you overnight so we can run some more tests.”

The care my mother received in the Emergency Department was exceptional. Mom was transferred to a room when a bed became available and then discharged later that same day. Prior to her discharge, we met with Dr. Abraham Scheer and Dr. Dawn Dillon, two Beebe physicians who also provided wonderful care. They answered our questions, and provided detailed information and instructions for follow-up care with Mom’s primary physician.

To celebrate the excellent care she received, Mom made a gift to the Beebe Medical Foundation and wrote, “Thank you for your patience, your kindness and your understanding. You helped me get through two nights in the ER – I’m a retired RN, and I would give Dawn West and Dr. Spangler an A+ for their caring and compassion.”

This Mother’s Day, my husband James and I are celebrating with Mom and so very grateful for our Beebe Healthcare family. We believe there is no greater gift than your health, and that’s why we made a five-year pledge to the I Believe in Beebe Campaign. Our gift isn’t going to name a building, but it is the largest gift we have ever made. James and I feel really good, knowing we’re helping to ensure great care is always available, close to home, for our family, friends and neighbors.

James and I also encourage everyone to join us in supporting Beebe, our community-owned, not-for-profit healthcare system. Join us at the Fifth Annual Beebe Beach Bash on Saturday, June 8, at the Cape-May Lewes Ferry terminal on Cape Henlopen Drive in Lewes. This will be the biggest party of the summer with dancing, dining, auctions, and more. But even more importantly, the Beebe Beach Bash raises funds for the Emergency Department in Lewes and for construction of a new Emergency Department in Millville. Purchase tickets at or by calling Beebe Medical Foundation at 302-644-2900.

Beebe continues to depend on the generous support of individuals, corporations, businesses, and private foundations. All gifts, large or small, to Beebe Healthcare are tax deductible and channeled through Beebe Medical Foundation. Email me at to learn about ways you can share your Beebe story, Celebrate Excellent Care and support the I Believe in Beebe Campaign as we work together creating the Next Generation of Care.


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