Recently I was admitted to Huntsville Hospital, a very ill person, and in need of immediate surgical care. I got excellent (conservative) treatment and am now home recuperating. Why am I sharing this? I needed and received timely, exceptional, local surgical care. We all need to continue to have a complete acute care hospital in our community! We need to be heard!
Longer version: I have tended not to share many personal issues on social media, but I need to share this, lest I squander a perfect chance to give the issue of our local hospital‘s future a personal face.
Recently, out of the blue, after a four mile run, I began having extreme abdominal pain and quickly felt very ill. We called an ambulance early in the morning and with efficient and very caring examination, I was diagnosed with an obstructed bowel. I have had over a dozen major abdominal surgeries since my teens, and although this episode was a complete surprise, anyone with the amount of scarring that I have in my belly is at a higher risk of obstruction.
This can be deadly and frequently requires surgical intervention. I absolutely needed to be in a surgeon’s care. Luckily Huntsville has a great medical staff including three excellent surgeons. Bias alert here: As many know, I am married to one of them. Chances were that I would need an operation unless I could ‘unkink’ myself. (No one wanted to operate because there are all sorts of extra risks involved in trying to navigate a belly full of an adhesed mess of gut, vessels, organs etc….You are welcome for this great visual 😉 )
It was an anxious and sickly week, but I never doubted that I was in the best of hands and that I could be confident in agreeing with whatever decision was suggested. As it turns out I am gratefully ‘unkinked’, thanks to my surgeons’ ingenuity in trying a new non-surgical technique on me.
We are so incredibly fortunate to have a hospital within our community staffed by a cohesive group of committed professionals, many of whom are also friends and family. We as individuals cannot afford, and our Huntsville community cannot afford, to lose our fully active hospital. I can unequivocally say that my life has been saved twice by our local surgeons.
The current debate about one or two, modified or re-purposed, future hospitals to serve Muskoka has to hear our voices! Please continue to stay current and involved in decisions that are being made and stand unequivocally behind the demand for a fully-serviced, acute-care hospital in Huntsville.
Jenny Kirkpatrick has lived and worked in Huntsville for 30 years. She is a professional photographer, wife of one of Huntsville’s general surgeons, and mother of two grown children. As an everyday community member, but also as someone who has needed multiple surgeries over the years, she feels strongly that we must be very protective of our local acute-care hospital.
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