We are incredibly fortunate to have so many kind and thoughtful friends who give to Meriter from their hearts to improve the lives of our patients and the health of our community. Individuals decide to make a gift to Meriter for many different reasons.
Grateful Patient - Gary Melberg
I went to Meriter Heart in Madison to meet with Dr. David Ende, my cardiologist. We also met with Dr. Khosro Adib, Meriter heart surgeon, that day. Their concern was that my aortic valve was narrowing (aortic stenosis) and only surgery can ‘fix’ that. Another echo cardiogram was done in June, and the decision was made not to wait, but to go ahead with a catheterization procedure, which revealed a nearly-blocked artery that curves around my heart. “I can fix that when I replace his valve” Dr. Adib said.
Open heart surgery was scheduled. It took a long time (8-9 hours!) but I had a new heart valve afterward. The ICU nurses—Scott and Daemon--brought me back to consciousness slowly—breathing tube, get my body temperature back up to normal, inject pain meds, measure blood pressure constantly, heart beats, everything. Don’t forget the tube which drained liquid from my chest—they also measured that flow. I spent one night in ICU then up to the 11th floor, where I had a nice single room with a great view, and a flock of guardian angels dressed as nurses to look after me. Not much appetite yet, it hurt to breath deeply & cough, but they kept asking me to do just that. Thank goodness for the red, heart-shaped pillow. My family was wonderful for standing by -- my wife and daughter were there for 2-3 days so far, my sister from Iowa came, and they in turn phoned and emailed others about me.
On the third day they removed the chest drainage tube, and started walking me around. The nurses watched my vitals very carefully. The amount of oxygen ‘converted’, blood pressure, all the heart functioning they can think of. Many meds were given, and they explained what each was for, so I know what I will need to take at home.
My nomination of seven caregivers represented my sincere thanks for the care they provided while I was recovering from heart surgery. There were ICU nurses, Daemon and Scott, the surgical staff, Dr. Adib, Dr. Young and Janet, along with 11th floor nurses, Dawn and Allison. Daemon and Scott were the first employees I met after surgery and they were warm, caring and positive. Dr. Adib and Dr. Young, came to see me every day, and were very encouraging. Nurse Dawn sized me up as a patient who might try to do too much, too fast and gently helped me work within my limitations. Allison explained the importance of deep breaths (that hurt). Several members of Gary's care team posed for a photo following the Pinnacle Caregiver presentation (photo at right).
Those who operated the heart-lung machine, the anestheiologists, the cardiac rehab staff, the parking attendants, the food-service employees, even the janitors were all skilled and pleasant to my wife and to me. We did not get all their names, but their smiles and well wishes really helped. I can’t thank Meriter enough. You saved my life!
Former Employee - David Gammeter
David Gammeter began working at Meriter Hospital in the late 1970's and continued until 1994. He fondly recalled his role in the maintenance department where he worked to keep the hospital's heating and ventilation systems up and running. As a former employee, David witnessed the positive work Meriter has done to improve the lives of children in our community.
Recently, David made a decision to give back to Meriter with a simple wish and desire - to help kids in need. "I wanted to do something to help children. Meriter was such a wonderful place to work that I know they will do their best for any child in need of care," he said.
Meet more of our close friends.