Anna and Rick Murphy
Lakeland Health Foundation board member Anna Murphy has been through thick and thin with her husband Rick, as they faced his kidney cancer diagnosis five years ago and his ongoing heart issues with atrial fibrillation. Through it all, health concerns have been a constant, but so has Spectrum Health Lakeland.
Because atrial fibrillation can happen anytime, Rick’s visits to the Lakeland Medical Center emergency department are unpredictable, but the care he has received has been consistently excellent. Each time, the couple has noticed how this eases both their nerves and their worries.
“When he goes in, he’s not as nervous, because he knows he’s in really good hands,” said Anna. “Each time it’s been different physicians and nurses and techs and they all have a really awesome way of putting the patient first.”
Anna went on to share how having a high comfort level with the emergency department is also important for those with the patient.
“Whether you’re a caregiver, child, or significant other of the loved one being taken care of, it gives peace of mind,” said Anna. “For me as a wife, caring doctors and nurses make it a lot easier during a time I’m already feeling concerned.”
That care was clear from the start, when Rick begin experiencing issues with his heart.
“Early on, one ER doctor at Lakeland told us how he also had atrial fibrillation and helped us understand that it can happen to anyone,” said Anna. “It was reassuring to have the doctor tell us how other people go through it and live with it just fine. That doctor shared his own story to ease the mind of his patient.”
As Rick has learned to manage his condition, ER visits have lessened for the couple. But knowing that they can rely on excellent care whenever they might need it is important and something they hope to share with others.
“Overall, it’s about feeling cared for,” said Anna. “Each time we’ve gone to the ER, their compassion and knowledge has created a calm, comfortable visit for us.”