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Tom Leonard

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July 14, 2014
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Compassionate care at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital

I needed a way to say thank you to a fantastic group of people, without falling into the impersonal expressions of blanket gratitude for all those untold instances of professionals working untold hours and how they work relentlessly, often without thanks and on and on. Not to say that those lines can’t apply, but they just lacked the personal level of thanks I need to impart.

My account is about my own personal experience of three fast days and nights in our community hospital here in Grass Valley. No story on me or my illness, only that it was serious enough that I landed at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Friday afternoon after four days of illness and basic sleep deprivation, not the best combo.

It’s simply a story of a lot of pretty regular people stepping into the light for a brief stint to be spectacular because that is just what they did. No more and no less to it, and they did it all with such calm, focus and positive professional energy that they immediately instilled in this old man’s heart a trust and a knowing that everyone of them was there for me at that moment in time. Start to finish, they were not going to compromise or relent. They were there for me and were going to do everything in their power to help me through this tough time.

The S.O., admissions and triage sped me along to Room 7 and the doctor led teams from nursing, lab, radiology and phlebotomy who went to work with every tool they had in the arsenal, and five or six hours into it I had managed, for the first time in four days, to get a couple hours of absolutely restful sleep. Thank you. Thank you for finding that hidden little devil of pneumonia there and getting after it. And for all the teams in Room 7, thank you for taking such good care of me.

On to 2 North. Different pros, same attitude … we’ve got your back. And they did. Each morning, noon and night and in between. The time was filled with regular people being spectacular just like downstairs. It was relentless and pointed and was not going to stop until I walked my old self right out of there. And I soon did just that.

A fine gentleman volunteer came for a quick and wonderful chat.

A friend came to visit and I could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes — He was here for me because that’s what friends do for each other. No pretense on insincere offer of help.

Yet here were so many faces and so many voices I did not know that showed that kind of compassion and concern — so many touches that said hang in there, we’ll get you through this. Not friends, just regular people being spectacular, because that’s what they do.

So for you on 2 North, thank you for taking such good care of me.

For the final honor, I was escorted to my ride by a veteran of the first Iraq war. What do I do with that but get lost in humility? So I wanted to get you a card but couldn’t find one that quite was able to express my inadequate feelings.

I hope this gets my message to each and everyone of you at SNMH who was there for me during that short spell. You have all given my spirit such a lift, which has reached far beyond the physical recovery to where I cannot measure it. Thank you all. Thank you for taking such good care of me.

Tom Leonard lives in Grass Valley.


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The Union Updated Jul 14, 2014 10:45PM Published Jul 15, 2014 03:33PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.