A Long Way From Home, Patient Grateful for Mercy's Care

May 21, 2014

Sarah Bright, RN, helped care for patient

Nan Malott when she became ill far from home

Nan Malott, age 60, of Lawson, Missouri, wasn’t feeling so well when she got in her car to make the familiar 200-mile trip to Independence, Kansas, where she works monthly as a government contractor. But she had stocked a “whole front seat full” of over-the-counter medicine (and even some of her husband’s antibiotics), so she was convinced she could rally through whatever was coming on.

Throughout the day, however, her illness seemed to get worse, and by around 5 p.m., she was having trouble breathing and experiencing chest pain from constant coughing. She decided to visit the Mercy Emergency Room.

An evaluation in the ER landed Nan an admission to the Intensive Care Unit. While it was not exactly what she was planning when she set out for work that morning, she was grateful to be in good hands, among compassionate caregivers, especially so far from home. She ended up spending three days with us at Mercy.

“From the time I walked into the ER to (discharge), everyone I came in contact with was wonderful,” Nan reported. “They knew what they were doing, and they took excellent care of me. The whole staff was working together.”

Not only did her physician, Dr. Jim Hignight, her respiratory therapist and nursing staff work on her immediate illness to make her better, Nan, a 40-year smoker, reports her hospitalization motivated her to kick the habit. Mercy patients who are smokers are offered a nicotine patch during their stay, as well as educational information on smoking cessation. The patch worked for Nan, she said, and she didn’t once crave a cigarette during her time in the hospital.

“I really haven’t had respiratory problems before,” Nan said, noting that she’s never really felt any ill effects from smoking, but she learned through her experience here that she can do without cigarettes.

“The first few days are the hardest, and I’ve already made it through that. So this is going to be it. I’m quitting!”

While Nan has had few health problems of her own, she has had multiple experiences with hospitals closer to home (in the Kansas City area) due to her husband’s health issues. Drawing comparisons with those experiences, which she said haven’t always been positive, Nan was particularly impressed with the care and attention she received in a small-town hospital.

“No one wants to be in the hospital, especially so far from home,” she said. “But if I had to recommend a hospital, it would be this one. You guys just did a fantastic job!”