12 Days of Giving

12 DAYS OF GIVING
GRATEFUL PATIENT SPOTLIGHT

Lynn Gibbs is a Grateful Patient…

When a life or death health crisis arises, a family needs to trust they are receiving the most immediate, relevant care possible so that they can focus on their loved one.

Lynn Gibbs - Grateful Patient

Dr. J. Eric Irvine, left, Medical Director of the Emergency Department (ED) with grateful patient Lynn Gibbs.

This was the case for the family of Lynn Gibbs. Lynn arrived at the Emergency Department (ED) at the Brantford General with streptococcus pneumonia that had reached such severity, she was in septic shock and her condition was quickly declining.

“When we got to Brantford General, they knew exactly what to do,” said Lynn’s husband, Bob, who arrived at the ED following Lynn who was transported by ambulance.

Lynn had been ill for almost three weeks prior, with vomiting and trouble breathing, but there was no clear diagnosis as to what was causing the problem.

“When she got to the hospital, they immediately did a CT scan,” said Bob, adding that watching how quickly the medical staff acted gave him an indication the situation was very serious.

The couple’s daughter Carly Murray arrived at the hospital and said the doctor who cared for her mother, Dr. Eric Irvine, was diligent and honest with them. He explained the problem was the amount of fluid that had built up in Lynn’s lungs and the infection that came with it.

“Basically, they sat me down and told me I needed to call all my family,” said Carly, whose first call was to her brother, Kevin.

“The staff was amazing in how they helped me with that,” she said.

While the doctors and nurses worked quickly to begin draining the fluid from Lynn’s lungs, it was made clear her situation would require care provided at a regional hospital, so she was prepared for a transfer.

“They put us in a nice private room,” said Carly, where a nurse reassured them that their mother was in good hands.

Bob understood the odds were that Lynn would not survive.

Yet, no one was giving up on her. “The empathy they extended to us was just incredible,” said Bob. “They answered all our questions.”

Carly said at one point, she and Kevin stepped outside the room and they saw nursing staff peek out of the doorway to make sure the two were still nearby and doing as well as could be expected.

Lynn was transferred, and after a few months of intensive care, was able to return home – though her journey to recovery wasn’t complete. Lynn received out-patient rehabilitation services at the Brantford General site where she had to learn to regain control of some of her muscles.

“My mom’s the most determined person I’ve ever met in my life,” said Carly. “When she wants to do something, she’s going to do it.”

Lynn has only praise for the staff in the Rehabilitation Unit.

“I was very impressed with the care. They were very good,” she said. “They got me going pretty fast.”

And though she remembers very little about what was going on during her emergency visit, she realized later that she had received the best care.

“If they hadn’t acted so quickly to find out what was wrong with me, I would never have left the hospital,” said Lynn.

She later had an opportunity to meet Dr. Irvine and he seemed pleased to see she had recovered so well. Her young age and good physical health prior to becoming ill had worked in her favour.

“Every time we’ve had to go to the hospital, we’ve had nothing but amazing care,” said Carly. “I love to let people know.”

As the Gibbs family knows, when crisis or illness impacts you or a loved one, the Brant Community Healthcare System is here to offer you exceptional healthcare in your time of need.

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The equipment supported by donor dollars isn’t all ‘nice to have’ – it is critical, much-needed medical equipment required to perform daily diagnostics and care for our patients.

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