Patient Stories

"I can't imagine receiving better care anywhere else."
Susan Farmer

On February 22, 2012, I was one day shy of being 36 weeks pregnant when my heart began to run away with me. It was 9:30 at night, and I had been on bed rest for a couple of weeks, therefore there was no reason for my heart to be racing. I have a history of SVT, which is a rapid heart rate, and felt like it wasn't anything to get alarmed about. I have techniques that I can do that will convert my heart back to normal rhythm. They did not work.

I had been trying for about an hour, when my husband said, "Let's go to the hospital." We arrived at Carolina Pines around 10:45 pm, where they began an immediate assessment of me and proceeded to take me to a room in the ER. There, we realized that my heart was in AFIB, which can cause a heart attack.

The doctor and nurses contacted my OB/GYN and started administering Cardizem, but nothing was working. They admitted me to the hospital and took me up to Labor and Delivery. There, I was taken care of by nurses Pam, Tina and Cassie. I don't believe in coincidences, but divine providence. Cassie had worked in a cardiac care unit for over a year. I felt the Lord had me in the best hands that I could be in.

During the night, Dr. Cartwright checked on me. Early the next morning, Dr. Bali came in and ordered an ultrasound of my heart, and began to administer a Cardizem drip, praying this would convert my heart to normal rhythm. Ashlee Horton administered the Cardizem drip.

That morning I had nurses all around my bed. They decided that they needed a second IV line, but I was swollen so badly that my veins were hard to find. Two nurses, Ginger Yengel and Kelly Miller, who have skill in finding veins in babies, tried to find a vein. Both are RNs but Kelly is also the director of Women's and Children's services. Kelly was able to find a vein for a second IV.

During this time, I met another one of the hospitalists, Dr. Sidhu. She was with me during my entire stay at the hospital. She checked on me every day.

That morning, February 23, Dr. Daniel, my OB/GYN came in and informed me that due to the complications with my heart, we would be going in that afternoon for a C-section. By this time, shifts had changed and I had a new set of nurses. Laura Privette was one of my nurses that morning; she would go with me into surgery. I was so relieved to know that she would be with me.

A little before 1 p.m. they took me into surgery. One of my greatest fears was the spinal block that they would have to do. I had heard how painful they were. So I was not very enthused about meeting Ted Goranson, a nurse-anesthetist. However, he was the best. I did not feel a thing, and it was over very quickly. He talked with me until my husband was able to join me.

I am not sure how many nurses were in the operating room with me, but I do know that Laura Privette was there as well as Sharon Parnell, a surgical tech, and Tabitha Polk Grooms, who was there to take care of my baby after he was born.

Things were not easy in the operating room. My son seemed to be stuck, and then I began to hemorrhage. They were able to get him out, and because he was four weeks early, he had some breathing problems, but the Lord had Tabitha there to take care of him.

Grayson Thomas Farmer was born on February 23, weighing 7 lbs. 8 ozs. and was 20-1/2 inches long. They took him straight to the nursery where they began to administer oxygen.

They were able to get my bleeding stopped and took me to recovery. I spent the rest of that day and night in ICU. Ashley Johnson, my nurse in ICU that day, took care of me. I wasn't aware of much that day. My heart had not gone back to normal rhythm. That night my nurse was Sue Johns. I will never forget this lady. She was kind and caring. She took excellent care of me, but she also went out of her way to take care of my husband. My husband told her that he was not leaving me, so she went and found him a recliner to sleep in. During the night she would come in and check on me and clean me up, and make sure I did not need anything. She told my husband that if he needed to get a cup of coffee or just get out of the room for a few minutes that she would come in and stay with me while he was gone.

On February 24 at 5:30 in the morning, Sue Johns quietly came into my room to tell me that my heart had gone back into normal rhythm. She rejoiced with me. She cleaned me up and asked me if I would like to brush my teeth. Those were the most wonderful words. I had not brushed my teeth since Wednesday, and this was Friday.

I later went back to tell her "thank you" for all she had done for me. She told me the story of when she had given birth to her twin boys, who I think are 22 now. Her husband had gone home to wash some clothes, and she woke up and wanted to brush her teeth, but she could not get up and get the toothbrush and toothpaste. She remembers calling her husband and telling him that she only wanted to brush her teeth. She promised herself that she would always ask her patients if they would like to brush their teeth.

Later that morning, I was sent back to labor and delivery, where I would spend the next few days. I was given such wonderful care by nurses like Ms. Johnnie, Ms. Esther, and Ms. Kimberly Watford. There were other nurses whose names I can't recall.

While I was being taken such good care of, so was my baby. He was in the Level 2 nursery, where he was on a heart monitor and oxygen. It was very hard to see him like that, but I knew that it was best for him. I also knew that he was in the best of hands. He had the most wonderful nurses, like Kristen Sellers, Ginger Yengel, Barbie Smith, Zita Andreski, and Tabitha Polk. I never worried about my baby. This was wonderful! I could concentrate on getting well. I was discharged on February 28, but my baby would have to stay until March 4.

I was asked if I wanted to board at the hospital. If the hospital has a room available on the Pediatric floor, they will board a mother for the duration of her baby's stay, free of charge. It allows the mother to be right there, to bond with her baby, and take care of him/her. This hospital was very good to me! I have developed a friendship with a lot of these people. I take my baby back once a month to see them. I love these people. During sickness, you want someone to take care of you and to care for you. This is what these people did for me and my family. I can't imagine receiving better care anywhere else. The Lord has the best for his children, and this is exactly what I received!!