Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Skilled Care at Community Hospital-Fairfax is "Priceless"

Blu Dow never anticipated what she would do in the event of an emergency. She’s too busy being a mother, teacher, wife and business owner with her husband, Tommy.

But then the Tarkio family was faced with one of the scariest situations of their lives: Tommy was seriously injured in a work accident. After hearing the news that her husband had suffered six fractured ribs, crushed and sheared vertebrae, severely sprained ankles and extensive internal bruising, Blu knew only one thing was clear when asked where her husband would receive skilled care after surgery.

“I was on the phone with Dr. Burke before Tommy even had surgery, trying to figure out how we could get him to back Community Hospital-Fairfax as soon as possible,” Blu said.

After Community Hospital-Fairfax Emergency Room doctors determined Tommy’s injuries required extensive treatment, he spent several days in the ICU at Creighton University Medical Center and underwent back surgery. After seven days, Blu was handed a list of over 20 hospitals to choose from for Tommy’s skilled care where he would receive around the clock care and therapy.

“When they gave me the list, there was no question I wanted Tommy to come home to Community Hospital. It’s much better to be where you know everyone. I knew we could walk in and the people would know our story,” Blu explained.

For the next 3 weeks, the halls of Community Hospital-Fairfax were filled with the sounds of Blu and Tommy’s young children as they visited their dad, played video games and entertained the nursing staff.

Tommy and his biggest fan, son River, in the halls of Community Hospital-Fairfax during Tommy's recovery.

Making them feel at home was a priority for the staff, who knew that being in the hospital for an extended period was challenging, especially over a holiday. Together, the nursing and dietary staff planned for the cafeteria to be left open for the Dow family over Easter weekend.

“We were able to have our whole family come and bring in food for Easter dinner in the hospital cafeteria. We didn’t even ask, they just did it for us and it meant so much. They were so good to us,” Blu said.

Blu and Tommy appreciated the one-on-one attention they received from Dr. Aron Burke, pharmacist Harold Lawrence and the therapy staff, all of whom played a vital role in explaining medication, treatment options and safety concerns with Blu.

“I hope everyone in our community knows that after receiving care at another facility, coming back to Fairfax for skilled care is an option. It was amazing to be with Tommy and also be just a short drive away when I needed to be home with our kids. Overall, I just can’t say enough about how much it meant to me. We had a connection with the staff that you can only find in small, close knit communities. Our experience with Tommy’s skilled care at Community Hospital-Fairfax was priceless.”