For the last six years I, along with family and friends, have had the pleasure of hunting elk out of Karl Maser’s Ute Lodge. The beauty of the mountains and the camaraderie of the hunt, plus the people of the Meeker, Colo., area, make my hunting a secondary blessing. As they say, getting an elk is just icing on the cake!
We’ve always hunted the third rifle season, and we arrived in Meeker on Oct. 31 and started our hunt on Nov. 2. The deep snow this year was an unexpected obstacle, but the Sleepy Cat area of the White River National Forest was especially beautiful.
The first four days of the hunt were trying but fulfilling since this was a gift to myself, having just retired.
At the end of day four, my dream hunt ended suddenly and painfully. I experienced a sudden onset kidney stone attack. That 32-mile trip to Pioneers Medical Center in Meeker will be a ride I’ll never forget. But thank God that wonderful facility was there at the end of an elk-dodging journey.
Some have said, “We’re sorry your hunt was ruined,” and I say my hunt was only interrupted, but my good times in Meeker continued.
After a short time in the emergency room my intense pain was alleviated and I spent the next two and a half days as a patient; no, more like a guest of the Pioneers Medical Center.
In my lifetime, I’ve been a patient in the largest hospitals in Pittsburgh, Penn. They were efficient and the staff was professional. I’ve also been a patient in small town hospitals and the care was more personal. But I’ve never been a patient in a facility as small as Pioneers and I’ve never been in a medical facility maintained and staffed by such caring, tender and loving medical professionals.
Dr. Albert Krueger and the nurses met me in the emergency room, and what a surprise. I was made to feel like family. I was more than a patient. The manner in which they went out of their way to do little things to make me feel better was amazing.
Hospital food: I’ve never had better served in a restaurant! The young men who cleaned my room and brought my food were cheerful and efficient. Sorry I can’t remember their names.
I do remember Elizabeth Vetter, Cyndi Moody, Kathy Maloney, Kim Warren, Dianne Baughman, Teresa Matinsciano, Susan Shelton, Nancy Richardson and Kathy Warren, who were my nurses and PCTs. If I failed to mention anyone else who cared for me, I apologize. Your diligent service was deeply appreciated.
Now, three months later, I still remember and say “thank you.” Your community should truly be thankful to have such neighbors who are so attentive and conscientious in their care for those who require comfort and healing during times of need and suffering. Words cannot adequately express my feelings of appreciation for the medical staff at Pioneers Medical Center. I pray that your lives will be blessed as you blessed mine.
Gary L. Smith