I’ve been advised that in order to be considered credible, people who write, speak or make public announcements should at the onset, state their biases, relationships or interests, whether direct or indirect, and they should do so early out of an abundance of caution and for the sake of full and frank disclosure.
With that said, I really like Duane Sands. He is a decent guy, competent in his discipline, a real people’s person unlike we had all assumed in his early political years. He’s one of the only three people I think should win in the next general election for the Free National Movement (FNM), and certainly one of the few people in Cabinet who are performing admirably in their portfolio.
Needless to say, he was one of my big three picks for top performers immediately after the 2017 general election. Now that that’s clear, and we know exactly where I stand, I’d like to take this opportunity to shed some light on my experience at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).
Exactly one month ago, July 18, any parents’ worst nightmare happened to me. My son suffered trauma so extreme that he needed to be rushed to the hospital.
Instantly, my first thought was that I should take him to Doctors Hospital because I didn’t want to deal with the bumbling idiots I anticipated I would meet when I got to PMH.
I dreaded the idea of having to be in the ER with a four-year-old in an emergency situation, waiting to see a medical professional.
Certainly, everything in me wished that I could press a button and make this all go away. In the end, I had no choice, Princess Margaret Hospital it was.
When I got there at about 10, they were at the change of a shift; “and so the saga begins”, I thought to myself. Everyone seemed to be so lethargic as I burst in the ER, my son in my arms with blood dripping from his eye.
In that moment it seemed as though no one cared. Terrified and possibly feeling the most powerless I’ve ever felt in life, I met the first person in a team of persons that would change my concept on PMH and its care forever: Nurse Pierre.
Nurse Pierre, I later learnt, was actually signing in for a double and had already worked her shift when I got there frantic and out of breath. Admittedly, in my very riled up state, it initially seemed to me that she would provide the exact service I expected from PMH — slow, uninspired, laissez-faire medical care.
However, quite to the contrary, she was an AMAZING emergency room nurse. She was well-read, communicated well and made the entire process near seamless for when the ER doctor got there. She knew which prep information to take, which questions to ask and what the anticipated route of care for the doctors would be. She was flawless, actually, and the best ER nurse I think I’ve ever met in my entire life.
Still not completely calm, noticeably shaken and possibly irate at my son’s condition, in walked a team of two super young doctors: Dr. Nixon and Dr. Lowe (and no, not one of the light skinned ones). “Excellent” is the only adjective I could think of to describe the way these two doctors carried out their duties.
During my six hours in the ER, there isn’t anything that I could think of that they could have done any better during the entire time.
Especially Dr. Nixon, she was incredible. She was gentle, knowledgeable, she trouble-shooted the issue very well, communicated the best pathway of care, executed the initial phases and lined up an absolutely amazing follow up team for his after ER care.
It must be really difficult to deal with young children who suffer trauma, and I imagine that dealing with their angry, screaming dad is much worse, but Dr. Nixon never lost her cool. She maintained control, but more importantly, even through my crazy rants, screams and shouts, she was super nice to me.
What she offered to me FELT like care, medical care, and her trusty sidekick, Dr. Lowe, was equally that – nice and caring. They got my son stabilized and moments later, in the wee hours of the morning, Dr. Shama, the eye specialist, walked in. He was proficient, sound and advised on the best route of continued care. He provided great oversight to the team of younger doctors.
Hours in, and a shift change later, in walked Dr. Brown, who was clearly advised that there was a child who suffered trauma and she needed to make sure that the parents of this child knew that Dr. Brown don’t take no mess.
At first she was a little difficult to digest and I remember thinking to myself, why is this woman asking me every single question that I already answered for every other doctors I had met tonight? Who is she, and where did she just come from?
I must admit that by the time that he was placed on the ward, my assessment of her was exactly that of the two doctors I had met earlier. She was, in fact, the real deal. She was knowledgeable and confidently advised what steps were to be taken by me, and what I could anticipate from the ward staff.
She knew what medication was needed to immediately help the pain go away, and medicated him enough to finally get him to sleep. Although a little rougher than the first two physicians, Dr. Brown was super nice to me and also provided sincere medical care.
Last, bust certainly not least, I would like to mention Dr. Aurora, and his magnificent nurse and releasing doctor, Nurse Lee and Dr. Lopez.
Dr. Aurora was the surgeon, who by my estimation, was more compassionate, caring and communicated better than any surgeon I had ever met before.
I felt like although we were in an entire hospital, my son was his only patient. He left no room for doubt in my mind that he would go in there and do his magic, and that he did. He stitched my boy together so well that less than two days later, he was up and singing “party in the elevator” like he was just as good as new. After it was all said and done, the Champ was back and he was still pretty.
In all, we hear about the horror stories, the absolute disaster and catastrophe that people describe as their experience at PMH; but to the contrary, I thought I’d take this time to testify about the staff of the Pediatric ER on the night of July 18; Dr. Brown, Dr. Lowe, Nurse Pierre and chief among them, my star player, Dr. Nixon, who have forever changed my mind on PMH and its healthcare.
Oftentimes we credit the good and the bad in the public hospital to the minister of health, but in all honesty, it is professionals with the work ethics like this team of ladies who are truly improving our health care system.
In fact, if there was anything in this entire ordeal, that I could credit the minister for, it would be for having such comfortable chairs in the waiting area of the ER. Thanks, Dr. Sands, I really enjoyed those chairs.
On behalf of my son (The Champ), Leyxanderio Miller, I want to say thank you to them and state that we are forever grateful.
– Leyvon Miller, JP