Letter: Local healthcare is worthy investment

With health care at the forefront of everyone’s minds, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you all how blessed I believe the people of Rangely are. While our facility is small, we are offered prompt, personal attention that we wouldn’t be able to receive at bigger hospitals (Believe me, a four- to six-hour wait in St. Mary’s ER will convince anyone.) But the thing I believe makes our hospital great are the people who work there. They have a personal, vested interest in almost everyone who walks through that door, and they take it very seriously.
Recently, my mother spent 12 days in the Rangely Hospital, where she lost a long battle with pneumonia. During her stay, my dad was given a bed in her room to sleep on so that he could be comfortable and near her. They made sure he had food to eat, which also included making sure he had a diabetic meal. They brought endless amounts of coffee, blankets for other family members, fixed extra food so we could get our meals at the hospital rather than leave, and allowed us mostly to enjoy the last moments we would ever share with her. While you might receive some of these things in a bigger hospital, you wouldn’t be allowed to “camp” in your loved one’s room or have her whole family in her room for visitation. These are the kinds of things that make this hospital great. Doctors, who when they tell you your loved one is probably not going to make it, cry with you. Nurses who hold your hand and hug you close while you cry and write you notes to help you keep your spirits up. Respiratory therapists who simply massage the back of your loved one because she thinks it will help her relax and breathe better. Cleaning ladies who change the trash bags a million times a day, and nurses’ aides who bring in lots of water, wash clothes and towels. Food-service people who give an extra tray of snacks and sodas because we’d had such a long day. In the long run, these things can make the world of difference to people whose whole world is collapsing around them. The personal, small-town touch that make this hospital worthwhile.
On behalf of my family, I would like to say thank you to everyone at RDH for the excellent care they gave not only to mom, but to us as well. I would like to take this opportunity to add that if people are wise, they will vote for a new hospital. While the staff is great, the facility is old and in need of replacement. While I am tired of taxes, I consider the hospital a worthwhile investment if it keeps my loved ones here instead of sending them to Grand Junction or Vernal for treatment. I think we already have to seek enough services out of town. I personally don’t want to have to travel 50 to 100 miles if someone I love is in trouble.
Grace Stewart
Rangely