Care You Can Count On!

Care You Can Count On!

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has touched all our lives. For Jeannie Koski a diagnosis of COVID-19 led to an incredible journey of recovery. On December 26, 2021, Jeannie tested positive for COVID-19 and was quarantining at home trying to manage symptoms and monitor her health. By New Year’s Day her oxygen levels dropped and every breath became more and more labored. She was transported by ambulance from her home in Utica to Memorial Hospital in Seward.

She and her family had a long-term relationship with Memorial Health Care Systems receiving care at the Utica Family Medical Center. They were thankful for the availability of emergency services close to home.

Jeannie arrived in the emergency room and the team of doctors, nurses, radiologist and respiratory therapist quickly assessed her condition and set in motion the needed treatments. She was admitted to Memorial Hospital and the medical team kept close observation of her progressing condition. As her health continued to decline it was imperative that Jeannie get access to specialized medical care, but finding availability for COVID patients in larger facilities proved to be a challenge. “At one point they thought I might need to go to Kansas City as there were no open hospital beds,” Jeannie said. “The staff were doing all they could to get me the care I needed, contacting facilities in Nebraska and surrounding states.” Over the next six days the virus continued to weaken her. Finally the care she needed became available and she was life flighted to Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings, NE.

Jeannie said she doesn’t remember much of what happed after she left Memorial Hospital due to needing to be on a ventilator. Her family shared with her that there were times it was not clear if she would survive. Once she was stable, she wanted to return to Memorial Hospital but remaining on a vent required her to continue recovery in a rehabilitation hospital in Omaha. “In Omaha I could not speak or even move, after being in bed and  on machines to help me breath for so long, it seemed impossible,” Jeannie shared. “Once I began to relearn how to breath on my own, I began asking if I could go back to the hospital in Seward.”

On March 16 Jeannie’s request was granted and she was transferred to Memorial Hospital. “It felt like coming home,” Jeannie said. “It lifted much of my anxiety as I was in a familiar place, surrounded by people I knew and closer to my family. Plus they had all the services I needed to complete my recovery through therapy.” Jeannie explained they wasted no time and even began working with her exercising in bed to strengthen her body.

While Jeannie felt motivated to get well for her family, there were days she was discouraged and tired. The MHCS team working with her gave her inspiration and the determination to press on in her recovery. “There were times when I felt the staff had more faith in me than I did in myself. They made me believe I could get better. Because they had so much faith in my recovery, I wanted to do all I could to get well,” Jeannie expressed.

When asked, who made a difference in her care? Jeannie just smiled and said, “Everyone at MHCS. From the people who clean the room, to the nursing assistants and nurses, the medical technicians, all the therapy services, Dr. Sams, they were all wonderful. You combine that with great food and social services and all I can say is, if you have to be in the hospital, you want to be here in Seward.” Jeannie said even in preparing to go home the staff were helpful with resources she might need and an occupational therapy home visit to ensure her success in returning home.

On May 6, after battling COVID, fighting to stay alive, determined to recover and restore her life, Jeannie left Memorial Hospital returning home to her husband, children and grandchildren. It was a day of celebrating not only for her family but for her medical family as MHCS employees applauded her healing cheering her on as she left the hospital. Thank you, Jeannie, for letting MHCS be a part of your success story of hope, healing and restoration.