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Letter: Let people decide on health care facilities in Columbus

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Marilyn Woolfrey


Received: Feb. 6

I don’t know about anyone but myself, but I took offense to Tuesday’s story in the Republic, “Unwanted Rival.”

Once again this story was based on the political views of Columbus Regional Hospital’s President and CEO Jim Bickel and others. I haven’t heard the people say Franciscan St. Francis’ doctors offices are an unwanted rival.

What about the opinion of the people? Why aren’t we being given the chance to vote or voice our opinion on whether or not we would like to have the choice of the doctor or health care facility we would like to go to.

What is CRH afraid of?

Franciscan St. Francis Hospital is one of the best hospitals I have ever set foot in.

I had my first encounter with this hospital when my father came here from Florida last year to be the first patient to have a heart valve replacement by going up the arteries in his groin. This was a brand-new procedure, and the doctors and nurses there were great. My father would have died in a matter of days if he had not been able to have this life-saving operation.

On Dec. 26, I was taken to CRH by a family member for a crushing headache that had been going on for over a week. I was taken back quickly as we were in the middle of a snowstorm and there was no one else there at the time. I had a CT scan which showed no abnormalities.

They were out of the medication they wanted to give me, so I was given an injection of morphine. When I was asked later if there was a change in my pain level, I said no, so I was given more morphine. The next time the nurse asked if my pain level had changed, I said yes so I could leave because the morphine was making the headache worse.

After several days, I still had the headache and was so sick with it I went back to the ER on Saturday. When I arrived the waiting room was full, and patients were lined up in chairs up and down the hall to the elevators. I stayed for an hour.

I heard people saying they had been waiting for three hours. I went to check in and told them I was leaving. The nurse asked me to come back to take my blood pressure. It was 160/100. She took my vitals to the doctor in the ER, and he said I could go as I wasn’t stroking out.

Sunday morning I got up and drove to Franciscan St. Francis ER. I was taken back immediately. Within 10 minutes, there was a doctor in my room. Within a half-hour, I was having a spinal tap and blood drawn. A cocktail of three drugs was mixed into a bag of IV fluids and started. Within about three hours, I was headache-free and on my way home.

There are a lot of Facebook comments on this story that are welcoming this new addition in Columbus. My vote is let’s welcome them. You might be surprised how many people are already a patient of Franciscan St Francis. I’d be the first to admit I am.

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