I was born in 1961 at McKenna Memorial Hospital, which years later was purchased and renamed CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – New Braunfels. I have walked through those McKenna/CHRISTUS front doors many times over the years – so much, in fact, I feel a little like a character in the old TV show Cheers, “where everybody knows your name.”
I must admit, I do like being around people who take time to get to know me, and are always ready to take care of me or my family’s needs with a smile and a “can do” attitude. You might say I have come full circle with CHRISTUS, which once provided me (and my husband’s) care as children, then provided our children’s care as they grew up. Now, it is one of my resources for health care for our elderly parents.
Whether I’ve had to admit my parents, either through normal admissions or through the ER, it has always been comforting to see my loved ones recognized by hospital staff members from a previous visit or from out in the community. The Associates, nurses, and doctors at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa are our friends. Many grew up and raised their children in the community as we did, and our children may have been friends. We may go to the same church or belong to the same organizations. It is the best feeling to be welcomed by a familiar face in our family’s time of need.
I remember when my 90-year-old mother caught a very aggressive and potentially deadly case of pneumonia, and was placed on a ventilator for six days. During that time, the CHRISTUS ICU staff was amazing. After several days, with me by her side never leaving the hospital, one of the nurses must have seen the stress and fatigue in my body language. One night, she pulled her computer into my mom’s room at about 1:00 a.m. and told me to go home; she would stay with mom in my place. She spoke to me as if I was her best friend, and she knew I needed a decent night’s sleep if I were going to survive the week. A prior bad experience with my father – at a San Antonio hospital – had caused me to become very distrustful and afraid to leave a family member unattended without one of our family being there with them. But, at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa – MY hospital – I regained the trust I lost in San Antonio, and was able to sleep in my own bed that night with no worries about the level of care she was receiving.
And when my mom failed to get off the ventilator the first time, a Respiratory Therapist stayed beside my mom for five straight hours, assuring her she would be okay while he continued different treatments to get her successfully breathing on her own. I haven’t seen that person since that day, but heard he continues to work at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa. He was my mother’s guardian angel on that day!
I have never heard of these kinds of stories at other hospitals. I feel so fortunate to live in a beautiful town like New Braunfels – which has many health care options – but my choice will always be CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – New Braunfels – “where everybody knows your name.”