Worralls: ‘The relief was profound’

Kirk and K.C. Worrall of Parkdale sent the following email to the Christina Vanderwerf and the administration of Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital:

“Dear Ms. Vanderwerf, I write to tell you of the experience my wife and I had recently at Hood River/Provi-dence.

A little background: My wife had the misfortune to be in a bad “horse wreck” — she ended up under her horse with numerous injuries, and in a semi-remote location near Walla Walla, Wash., to boot.

Though I am an experienced EMT/paramedic (30-plus years), the situation was not an ideal one, and although my wife remounted and tried to ride out, she wasn’t able to stay conscious, so I called 9-1-1 and we received great response and care from Walla Walla Fire Department medics and AMR transport to an un-named southeast Washington hospital.

Since circumstances dictated that I was unable to accompany my wife in the ambulance, she arrived at a modern and well-staffed E.D. without an advocate, but presumably in the good hands of a good system.

This proved not to be the case. I could give you at least 20 examples of poor, inappropriate, or NO care she experienced there — I won’t, though. Suffice it to say that we were grateful for the few things they did right (CAT scans, imaging, facial suturing), and the one nurse who was caring and skilled.

We absolutely declined their offer of other care, and got my darlin’ out of there and back to Hood River. We’d been in contact with Dr. John Durkan (at his home, after office hours!). He agreed to see my wife the following morning and to fit her into his already full surgical schedule.

We knew we’d also need other attention and treatment from your staff at Hood River hospital. We were wary, due to our previous day’s experience — needlessly. From the moment we wheeled her into your facility, we received high-quality attention and medical care.

The relief that it brought us was profound. Dr. Durkan and his P.A., Becki, were totally professional, which we expected due to our previous dealings with them. The skill and caring attention of your staff — from the personnel in the surgical suite, the overnight floor nurses, the office crew, the volunteers — well, it was fantastic!

Try to imagine, from our perspective, the immense comfort of going from an inexplicably bad hospital experience to being totally provided for — medically, practically and emotionally. Those of us who are Hood River valley residents are fortunate to have your hospital in our community to provide for us and our families. We thank you and your fine staff for meeting and exceeding our needs. You should be proud!”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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