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Grateful to care received at Ellis Hospital

Grateful to care received at Ellis Hospital

*Grateful to care received at Ellis Hospital

Grateful to care received at Ellis Hospital

What do you get when you mix exceptional medical competency, empathetic caring, full and immediate communication and information sharing with all members and associates of a diverse team?

As close to perfection in cardiac medical treatment as is attainable anywhere. They are known collectively as Ellis Medicine, along with the Cardiology Associates of Schenectady.

In my case, they were complemented by my own personal physician and the Clifton Park Half Moon Emergency Corps., prior to my emergency open heart surgery.

After discharge, the Visiting Nurse Service and Advanced Care Pharmacy provided the continuing needed medical support. I would be remiss not to individually cite Dr. Steffani Cotugno, family physician, Dr. Kyril Choumorov, Ellis Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. Peter Cospito, Cardiologist, and Dr. David Liebers, Infectious Disease Specialist, who each stand out as being very special, combining a wonderful balance of professional skills and compassion, and are responsible for giving me the priceless gift of life.

Our lives have fortunately been extremely healthy with only annual checkups as our medical record. But in September, my wife, Karen, insisted I see our doctor immediately, ignoring my evaluation that it was “just the flu.” The immediacy of the sequence of events that followed had me taken in an ambulance to Ellis, open heart surgery performed, and I next awoke in the ICU of the cardiac wing, asking the family what had happened. I had only the snapshot image of at least a dozen doctors surrounding me as my 54-year-old wedding ring was being removed.

Recovering in the hospital ICU, I saw my team of doctors each day, sometimes more. I found their competency only to be exceeded by their sincere caring for my holistic well-being. After several days, they seemed more like family than doctors. The ICU nurses gave new meaning to 24/7 care. One push of my little call button invariably brought an immediate response. Even the food was excellent.

The follow-up visits to these same doctors after hospital discharge continued in the same warm and attentive way, and were smoothly integrated with the home visits by the Visiting Nurse Service providing support for the intravenously fed antibiotics, and Ellis personnel to draw blood twice a week.

Finally, when I was discharged by each of my doctors and the nurses stopped coming and no one any longer came to get blood samples, I missed them now as people and friends, not only as professionals. We recently returned to the hospital the other day to pay some of them a visit.

I hope most of you that read this, accept my opinion regarding the services and care I received during my stay at Ellis, and do not need to verify this on your own, treasuring your good health. But do realize how fortunate we are to have such outstanding medical facilities and personnel in our backyard. They are truly the unsung heroes of our community. With Thanksgiving coming soon, let’s all give thanks for such dedicated, capable, and caring individuals.

With gratitude to Ellis Medicine and all the supportive arms of our fine medical infrastructure,

Lester Gerhardt

Karen Gerhardt

Clifton Park

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