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Having local hospital essential

Over the past few years, Dickinson County Healthcare System has weathered a lot of controversy, and its future is still up in the air today. I want to apologize to Dickinson County Memorial Hospital for taking so long to tell my story.

In December of last year, I fell 23 feet off my two-story roof. Luckily I am in fairly good shape for my age and I remained conscious after the fall and apparently had no broken bones. My wife, realizing what had happened, began calling neighbors for help.

Bt the time I had gotten myself upright and limped into the house, my friend, Jeff, was already pulling into our driveway. I just wanted to rest for awhile, but Jeff took one look at me and said, “Get in the truck!”

He rushed me 35 miles to the DCH emergency room and, on the way, my wife called 911 and asked them to inform DCH that we were enroute with a 69-year-old who had fallen off a roof and may have internal injuries.

When we arrived at the ER parking lot, I can only compare it to the opening scene from the “M*A*S*H” TV show, when the helicopter lands with the wounded. I had five or six staff preparing me for surgery before I even got through the ER door. The on-call surgeons were informed and I was wheeled right into an MRI scan. I fell off the roof at 11:30 a.m. and was in surgery a little after 1 p.m. I was bleeding internally, and had massive injuries to my abdominal cavity. The team pumped a liter or two of blood out of me and sewed up my damaged connective tissue and organs. The first thing I was told when I came out of recovery was that I was a “lucky man!” I am not so sure it was just luck. My care at DCH, from the arrival in the parking lot to my discharge, was nothing but professional and caring.

The critical care Dickinson County provides to this rural area of the U.P. is essential.

Both the private and public sectors have to work together to ensure that this care remains available to all residents.

In closing, I want to finally thank the entire staff at DCH for saving my life and allowing my grandchildren to visit me that Christmas instead of attending my funeral.

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