Patient Changes His Mind About Hospitals After Accident

August 12, 2014

Loren Hale of Independence

Independence resident Loren Hale estimates he has about 175 gardening books in his home library, because, as he says, “You can never know everything. There is always something to learn.”
That philosophy held true with a recent experience Loren had at Mercy Hospital. Contrary to his long-held belief, he learned that a hospital wasn’t such a bad place to be when you’re in need of care.

“I hate hospitals. I hate nurses. I hate doctors,” Loren said. “It’s just not something I care to be around.

“(But) my stay at Mercy was wonderful. It really, really was.”

Loren, 62, changed his mind about health care providers after falling off a ladder at his home in Independence. He was badly injured and in tremendous pain, but at first, he was determined not to seek medical attention. He also suffers from epilepsy and tends to experience seizures during times of high stress. The trauma of the fall apparently triggered a seizure later that night, which only aggravated Loren’s injuries.
“My wife and daughter pleaded with me to go to the hospital, and I wouldn’t do it,” he explained. “But when I woke up the next morning I was still in a heckuva shape. I finally gave in, and they called an ambulance. I’m glad they did.”

X-rays during Loren’s Emergency Room visit revealed a fractured pelvis. Ouch! 

“It was very painful,” Loren recalled with a grimace. “The nurses who cared for me, they were almost in tears themselves knowing how much it hurt me.”

Loren’s condition earned him an admission and a week’s stay on Mercy’s inpatient floor, where he had opportunity to interact with several more caregivers - nurses, therapists and physicians – those people he thought he disliked.

“The nurses you could tell were doing it for more than just a job,” he said. “They really cared about what they were doing.”

Loren believes the positivity he experienced from everyone caring for him at Mercy helped boost him to a quick recovery.

“I believe your mindset has a lot to do with your healing,” Loren said. “If you have a bad attitude, you’re going to heal slower. If you have a good attitude, you’re going to heal faster. Nobody could have a bad mindset being around those nurses. It would be pretty near impossible.”

Once again, Loren’s philosophy seems to have held true.

 “My physical therapist at Mercy told me I was probably in the top one percent of people who heal quickly.”

Today, less than a month after his accident, Loren is zipping up and down his front porch steps - carrying his walker more than leaning on it – and tending to his prized gardens.

“I am so thankful,” Loren said. “I consider the nurses who waited on me to be probably the most wonderful people in the world. I tell everyone I see – my neighbors, my friends - how great (my hospital stay) was. It was just flat wonderful. I think I am a better person on account of it.”

Loren said he intends to express his gratitude to the Mercy staff in yet another, very meaningful way.

“Come next spring, when my rose bed is blooming good, those nurses on the second floor of the hospital are going to get a big bouquet!”