Kay Stickland feared for the worst when her husband Ray was brought to the emergency room at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
The 78-year-old Red Deer woman said her 79-year-old husband was recently feeling unwell. He was on oxygen at home, but it wasn’t working, so the married couple called Emergency Medical Services.
The EMS team arrived and treated Ray with tremendous care, Kay told the Advocate Saturday. Ray was brought to the hospital shortly after, while Kay was told to wait for a bit before coming as well.
“I didn’t go right away. They told me they’d call me when he was settled, which they did,” she said.
“I got over there, and Ray had been really unwell for quite a few days. In comes Dr. (Tim) Gash, who is just awesome. He closed the door … and I thought, ‘This can’t be good.’ The doctor told me Ray was in critical condition. His heart wasn’t doing well, his other organs weren’t doing well – things weren’t good.”
Kay said Ray had pneumonia. The doctor told Kay about her husband’s critical condition in the “most compassion and professionalism” way possible, she explained.
Ray received a blood transfusion that evening and is now at home recovering, a couple of weeks after the incident.
“He’s in excellent shape. He’s still getting his strength back,” Kay said.
The doctors and nurses were “calm, compassionate and just excellent” to both Kay and her husband, she said.
“They’re life-saving. They have to do this every day and every minute of their time at the hospital,” said Kay.
“We were lucky we got through it because there are people who don’t. We have a dear friend who didn’t. They have to call a family and say, ‘I’m sorry. He or she didn’t make it.’ How do you do that every day? It’s tough. It’s really tough.”
Kay said she doesn’t understand how doctors and nurses are able to do what they do.
“I have a lot of admiration for those people. I know I couldn’t do it,” she said.
“You’ve got to have such patience and such devotion to do that. They’ve got 12-hour shifts, and more I’m sure in some cases, and they’ve have that day after day.”
The hospital and staff are often not recognized for what they are doing and the care they are giving during these “crazy and uncertain times,” Kay said, adding she cannot thank hospital staff enough for saving Ray’s life.