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'I Felt Very Safe and Well Cared For'

Patient Stories

Virginia Lowe was content. The Lemoore patient felt happy, well-rested and safe as she recovered from surgery at Adventist Medical Center - Hanford.

“I made it a point not to ask the doctor when I was expected to go home. I said to him: ‘Don’t tell me when I’m going home because I’m safe here!’ I felt very safe and well cared for, and those are the things you want,” she said.

Virginia’s experience began when she noticed persistent abdominal pain. Her primary physician discovered she had a non-functioning gallbladder that had to be removed.

Just in case, surgeon Dr. Ying Chien Lee ordered additional tests before surgery so there wouldn’t be any surprises.

There was a surprise: The tests showed that Virginia had a large cyst near her pancreas.

“Dr. Lee discovered the cyst because he went the extra mile,” she said. “When I found out what the cyst was and how large it was, I was so thankful that the Lord placed me in Dr. Lee’s hands to remove it.”

Dr. Lee removed the cyst on May 24, and pathology results later confirmed it wasn’t cancerous. Because of the cyst removal, Virginia had to stay in the hospital longer than usual to recover, and she was surprised by the positive experience. “I had never been in a hospital before, aside from getting lab work done, so it was unknown to me,” she said.

“The staff at the hospital were WONDERFUL!!!,” she wrote in an email to Adventist Health. “From the RNs, to aides [and] cleaning staff, everyone was gracious and encouraging!”

Virginia also saw that she wasn’t the only one who was treated well. Staff were very kind to the patient in the next room who never had visitors. “They recognized they were her family.”

Virginia was comforted in knowing that she had a great team to care for her and a surgeon who checked on her twice a day everyday.

“I knew God was with me the whole time,” she said. “I really felt God’s divine protection throughout the process.”

The nightly chaplain’s message over the hospital’s intercom put her at peace before she fell asleep each night, and the interactive GetWellNetwork system connected Virginia to the outside world, allowing her to access the Internet and watch her church’s worship service as if she never were away.

“It made it easy for me to take ownership of my recovery,” she said.

Two months later, Virginia is well and is enjoying riding horses again.

Photo: Virginia Lowe returned to Adventist Medical Center in July to thank the staff for taking such good care of her.