Lauding two great physicians and a very talented nursing team
This past December, Mary Schultz felt severe gastrointestinal distress. One thing led to another, and on the day Mary went to Beebe Healthcare’s Emergency Department in Lewes, she felt very cold, had a high fever and was experiencing uncontrollable shaking.
“Dr. Kevin Eanes in the Emergency Department quickly determined I had a staph infection and admitted me to the hospital,” Mary explained. “I was very sick and feeling afraid. I was so glad my family was with me, at least until I was admitted to a room late that evening. I was aware of COVID and thought I understood what the hospital was going through. I had some concerns about how that might change my experience. But when I was in the ED with the doctors and nurses, and I saw how they were taking such good care of so many people, that made quite a positive impression on me.”
For over 20 years, Dr. Jeffrey Hawtof has been Mary’s family doctor, and she said, “Dr. Hawtof came to see me and he was so very reassuring. When Dr. Hawtof learned I had a staph infection, he called Dr. Scott Olewiler, one of Beebe Healthcare’s infectious disease physicians. As soon as Dr. Olewiler walked into my room, he gave me a feeling of complete confidence. I knew he had read my chart, he understood why I was there, and he had a plan. Dr. Olewiler’s goal was clear – for me to get better and get home.”
Mary said she had never been that sick or unable to do anything for herself, so she was feeling very vulnerable: “I really needed the help of my nurses Their presence, their caring, their unwavering commitment to getting me well – all of this meant a great deal. On the fifth floor, nursing aides Caitlin Owens and Joan Casapula were so very nice. I remember Joan telling me not to worry about anything, not to be embarrassed about anything, ‘Mary, I’m here to take care of you.’ Caitlin was also so reassuring and she inspired my confidence.
“When I was moved to the second floor, Tobi Waller, RN, made quite an impact. She has a presence about her. An avid angler, Tobi is a move-it-forward nurse, and gently pushed me to do everything I could to get out of bed and walk. Tobi said, ‘Mary, you can’t be cherry-picking what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. If the doctor says you need to get out of bed and walk, we need to make sure you get out of bed and walk.’ Tobi’s support made a huge difference in me getting well.
“Lauren Ragalio is a traveling nurse, and we talked about all of her travels. It was so nice to talk about something other than my illness. I was also very lucky to have Stephanie Barry, who usually works in the Catheterization Lab, as my nurse too. Stephanie understood my condition because she had experienced it herself. She shared genuine empathy with me. Stephanie made it a point to come to see me on days when she was working in other areas of the hospital, just to check on me.”
Mary was in the hospital for eight days. Home for just a week, she started to feel poorly again and came back to the hospital.
“In the Emergency Department, Dr. Kevin Eanes and nurse Kim Cox explained everything they wanted to do and ordered a CT scan. They were both very caring and comforting. Kim went out of her way to bring my daughter back to join me in my room. When they received the results of my tests, they talked to us first, and shared I had another infection. Then Dr. Eanes called Dr. Olewiler, who got involved right away. I was moved to my room, and my nurse Maggie DeAngelis let my daughter stay with me until they were both confident that my pain had passed.”
Mary’s praise for her nurses includes Georgie Barnett, RN. “Georgie is just so interesting; she rides a red three-wheeler Harley. Georgie was so very caring and came back the next day to check on me too. Tayana Patton was my nursing assistant that day, and Ty knew I was upset to be back. She was very, very caring and helpful to me. That last night I was at Beebe, I had Cynthia Clem, a traveling nurse. She found I had another stress fracture in my back. She stayed by my side to help get my pain under control and helped me to get comfortable with pillows in the bed. As her shift was ending, Cynthia said to me, ‘It was a pleasure taking care of you.’ That was very, very nice.”
Mary summed up her experience: “My children were very impressed with how everyone at Beebe took such good care of me. That’s why I wanted to share my story and thank everyone who provided me with excellent care.”
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.