Ray and Joyce Howell Experience A Very Special New Year While In The Joint Replacement Center At Lexington Medical Center
My wife, Joyce, had a knee replacement on New Year's Eve 2013 at Lexington Medical Center. Having surgery on a holiday week didn't sound very appealing at first, but the more we thought about it we decided that is was a great time to have surgery. There were fewer patients in the unit, and the care we received was extraordinary.
As a minister, I visit the hospital frequently and experience health care from the pastoral perspective. For the past six years, I have been privileged to serve on the Lexington Medical Center Board and have experienced health care from the administrative perspective. But this was different. My wife, Joyce, was the patient. This time I was on the other side.
Quality Beyond Compare
The quality of Joyce's medical care was excellent. Dr. Gordon Kammire, one of the best orthopedic surgeons anywhere, performed the surgery. His warm, personable and engaging manner was refreshing and reassuring. The Lexington orthopedic group is one of the finest in the state.
There is a dedicated wing of the hospital affectionately called "Joint Camp," reserved for their patients. The first thing they tell you is: "You are not here because you are sick. You're just having some body repair."
Patients Are Told What To Expect
Patients have their first session at Joint Camp a week before their surgery. They are told exactly what to expect, what is expected from them, and every question is answered. C.J. Miller is the head nurse and with her optimism, enthusiasm and great sense of humor, patients can't help but excel. All of the nurses, Christine, Janie, Melissa and Annie, were kind, personable, skilled and caring.
Remarkable Physical Therapy
The morning after surgery Monette Frye, the director of a truly remarkable physical therapy department, helped Joyce stand and take her first steps with her new knee. Her nurturing spirit and heartfelt encouragement were contagious. We are very blessed to have such competent and compassionate healthcare professionals in our community.
More Than Good Medicine
We know that we received the best possible medical treatment, but we received something more - genuine care, sincere kindness and authentic compassion. Everyone, from the hospital administration, the doctors, the nurses, the technicians, the therapists, the cafeteria workers and the custodians, was friendly, helpful and concerned about our well-being.
Community Approach To Healing
Our church family and friends in the community prayed for healing and expressed their concern. Friends and family expressed their prayerful support on Facebook. Everywhere I went people asked about Joyce.
Healing is so much more than a hospital; healing is found in a community. When a community displays compassion and concern and works to provide optimal medical treatment for all of its citizens, the entire community becomes whole.
We ate black-eyed peas and collard greens in the hospital on New Year's Day, but not because we needed good luck - true healing transcends luck. We realized that it wasn't that we were in the hospital on January 1 that mattered, but as the New Year dawned we were being healed. New beginnings start with healing, not just in body, but in spirit, in our families and community.
The Reverend Dr. Ray Howell III is senior minister at First Baptist Church on West Third Avenue in Lexington.