George Haynes of Brattleboro didn’t have a leg to stand on—because both knees were failing, making a simple stroll a painful ordeal.
Working with Dr. Jon Thatcher, George underwent bilateral knee replacement at BMH. Surgical expertise is just part of our clinical excellence in orthopedics—George regained his strength as one of the first patients in our Richards Building’s physical therapy suite.
George says “the therapists were experts, and the results were phenomenal.” So good that George recently climbed Mayan ruins in Belize, for a view he couldn’t have seen on his old knees.
If joint pain is keeping you from the life you want to lead, call our orthopedic specialists at 802-258-6400.
Paul says our nurses saved his life.(He also says the great food helped.)
Paul Millman of Westminster came to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital after he developed a life-threatening internal infection. Hospitalized for three weeks, in pain and losing weight fast, he credits the nursing staff with his recovery.
“Did the nurses at BMH save my life? Absolutely,” says Paul. “They were real professionals making good decisions about my care. And they believed I was going to get better, so I believed it.” Paul says that the nurses were there whenever he needed them. Because of his discomfort, he says, “I was not always an easy patient…and I tested sorely at least one nurse’s ability to tolerate me—and the nurses never failed me. They were there always. It’s that constant care that allows you to tolerate what is basically an intolerable situation.”
He’s grateful to the entire staff, from doctors to housekeepers. “One housekeeper called me ‘Hon”. I was a person, I was never just a patient,” he says, “and it really made a difference.” So did the comfort of grilled cheese sandwiches, helping him regain the weight he had lost.
Paul is the president of Chroma Technology Corp, a leading manufacturer of precision optical filters—so it was important for him to stay connected to work while he was in the hospital. He says the hospital was very helpful in setting up a way for him to get online and work as he recovered.
If you ever need to stay at the hospital, you can count on advanced technology, superior skill and personal attention from all of us to help you get better.
Getting a leg up on Albert’s diabetes was a real team effort.
Albert Mikuski is a person you can depend upon. After all, he’s about to celebrate his 48th year with his wife Carol, not to mention his 48th year at Sanel Auto Parts. But when Albert fell ill with a leg wound that wasn’t healing, it was his turn to depend on others—the team at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital that diagnosed his condition, treated his symptoms and set him on the path to better health.
Last fall, a small sore on Albert’s ankle turned into a larger ulcer, so he visited his family doctor, who referred him to BMH registered nurse Joan Punt, who is a certified ostomy and wound care specialist. “Joan was fantastic,” says Albert. “She got me squared away—made me feel very comfortable and knew what she was talking about. I’d call her a friend.“ Albert’s blood sugar levels were also elevated, so from there, Albert met with Houghton (Hoty) Smith, CDE, a certified diabetes educator at BMH. Hoty explained to Albert what diabetes meant for his health, and showed him how he could start to control the chronic disease with medication and by monitoring his blood sugar on a regular basis. He didn’t know that elevated blood sugars can delay wound healing.
Albert then met with BMH nutritionist Peg Canal-Wittler, RD who explained the importance of diet in controlling diabetes, and helped him develop a nutrition plan. “She showed me what to eat, what not to eat, and how much.” He admits that it’s sometimes hard to adjust to the changes. “When you first start, he says, “you don’t really know what diabetes is about, but I’m learning.” His biggest surprise is discovering that he can live without doughnuts! Throughout, surgeonGreg Gadowski, MD, FACS reviewed Albert’s progress, to make sure his wound was healing.
Today, Albert is losing weight by adjusting his eating habits, managing his blood sugar, and starting to feel better. His wound is healed and his blood sugars are in excellent control. He credits the whole team at BMH who helped him for improving his health and extending his life.
‘’Between all of them, I felt very well taken care of,” says Albert. “They were wonderful, and I’d recommend for anyone facing what I did, don’t hesitate to come to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.” If you ever need hospital care, you can depend on our team to help you.
For more information about Wound Care, click here
For information about the BMH Diabetes Program, click here
For details about the nutrition services and Peg Canal-Wittler, RD, click here
For information about BMH general surgeon (also medical director of the wound clinic) Gregory Gadowski, MD, click here
Harriet Tepfer /staff/dana-mcginn →
Harriet hasn’t seen this well since third grade
Harriet Tepfer of Putney got her first pair of glasses in elementary school. From then on, if she ever removed her glasses or contact lenses, she could barely see. As the years went on, her eyesight slowly got worse. Then one day not long ago, her sight suddenly got dramatically better. That was the day she got eye surgery from Dr. Dana McGinn and the staff at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.
According to Harriet, this life-changing surgery was possible because her eyes had started to develop cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye. Even before the cataracts, her extreme near-sightedness was making it hard to read signs or see any detail more than a few feet away. A severe astigmatism made her a bad candidate for laser eye surgery. While her cataracts made it even harder to see, they were also the key to her restored vision. Cataract surgery could return her sight to what is was before those glasses in the third grade. Harriet’s optometrist, Dr. Jenifer Ambler, referred her to Dr. McGinn, an opthamologist at BMH.
“Dr. McGinn examined me,” recalls Harriet, “and he said, ‘yes indeed, you need cataract surgery.’ He was amazed that I was getting along as well as I was.” Cataract surgery replaces the eyes’ natural lenses with artificial intraocular lenses that clarify and correct vision inside the eye. “He offered me a special kind of corrective lens called a toric lens, for people like me with extreme myopia,” explains Harriet. While there are many kinds of lenses, a toric design is specially designed to correct astigmatism. “I believe Dr. McGinn is the first surgeon in Vermont to implant this type of lens,” says Harriet.
The state-of-the-art outpatient surgery at BMH “was quite an experience,” says Harriet. Eye surgery can be daunting, but Harriet says “I had immense trust in Dr. McGinn. He really prepared me well. It’s wonderful that he talks through the entire surgery, explaining everything that he’s doing. Everyone in the operating room was just great, and I felt very well taken care of by the BMH nurses. Everyone is always so helpful, asking if I need anything, being very efficient and kind.”
Harriet will never forget her first glimpse of a whole new world after her surgery. “I moved my bandage ever so slightly, and I looked out my bedroom window and saw all these branches on the trees. Walking out of Dr. McGinn’s office later that morning, looking up the street and realizing I had no contact lenses, it was wonderful.”
How much did this change Harriet’s life? Here’s how she puts it: “My whole life, whenever I’d be asked what I wished for, I would say that I wished to see without glasses.”
“I got my wish.”