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Published on July 23, 2013

Carol Johnson - A Life Saved

Carol Johnson

Carol Johnson

When Carol Johnson and her husband Gary drove up from Kansas to DeKalb, IL, they were thinking of a warm family holiday at their daughter’s home. The first night there, Dec. 28, just before 1:30 a.m. their daughter Mary Lou Erickson heard a “thump.” Not able to return to sleep without investigating, Mary Lou got up and found her mother lying on the kitchen floor! Mary Lou immediately went down and knelt beside her mother, who was unconscious. She could not revive her and called 9-1-1. The paramedics arrived quickly and began CPR and took her to the Emergency Department at Kishwaukee Community Hospital. Carol’s heart had stopped.

The findings from tests performed at the hospital showed that Carol had suffered a sudden cardiac death event that was caused by underlying heart disease, a condition less than 5% of patients survive from.

Upon admission to the ICU, doctors and staff began a cooling protocol on her, in order to decrease her body temperature to help slow further damage to heart and other organs. After 24 hours with her temperature decreased to 92 degrees and medications given through an I.V., Carol’s temperature was slowly brought back up to normal. Though she was tired and had no recollection of what she had been through, Carol regained consciousness and began talking with her family who had held vigil at her bedside in the Intensive Care Unit.

Carol’s family was pleased with the team of doctors who cared for her at the hospital. Carol’s daughter Mary Lou said, “Dr. Paul Nguyen the cardiologist was phenomenal! His knowledge, communication, bedside manner, and even that he educated the whole family was unprecedented. Dr. S.W. Chang, the pulmonologist, was great and such a gentle man. Always smiled. Dr. Brett Halloran and Dr. Rafiya Hameeduddin were the hospitalists and we felt in good hands.”

Mary Lou and her family were also impressed with the hospital and the care that Carol received from the staff. Mary Lou said, “We want to express our praise and heartfelt gratitude for the incredible care we received at Kishwaukee Hospital. From the moment we arrived every staff member, doctor, nurse, food service personnel and even the janitorial staff treated us with the utmost care.” She continued, “I am busting with pride of my hometown hospital, be it new and small, it by far was the best experience and medical attention we could have received. Everyone was not only efficient, compassionate and attentive to her care, but the knowledge that was brought to the table was unmerited. The technology that is used at your facility is topnotch and played a significant role in aiding with her recovery and minimal tissue damage.”

“The floor set-up with nurses’ stations with the peek through windows was a security you can't express with words. My cousin, who is a head nurse at a hospital in Kansas, came up and was completely amazed with every aspect of your facility. She said it is run extremely well and that she would seriously consider moving here with no hesitations.”

Carol’s family stayed with her the entire time at the hospital, allowing them to get to know the staff. Mary Lou said, “It was comforting to be greeted by smiling faces each morning. The waiting rooms were accommodating and even became a home away from home. A janitor even offered us a pillow! The cleaning staff spread their cheer with us as they quickly performed their duties. The food staff was pleasant and treated us like ‘regulars,’ making conversations and remembering our selections.”

To everyone’s surprise, over the next few days, Carol was feeling much better and was released from the hospital. A few days later Carol and Mary Lou returned to the hospital to show their family’s appreciation to the staff with cupcakes and hugs. Mary Lou said about all of the hospital staff, “We can sing our praises for the phenomenal care we received. Truly, may you all be blessed as you have blessed us!”

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