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Patient Stories

Jeff Wallin

After a fall in his home, Jeff left town to attend a wedding in Minnesota. A few days later, Jeff realized he'd more than bruised himself – he'd actually shattered his hip replacement, a 1 in 100,000 orthopaedic event!

Jeff trusted Dr. Eric Marsh from Vermont Orthopaedic Clinic (who performed the original hip replacement) so much, that he flew home to be treated.

Everything went very smoothly – from the surgery to recovery with physical and occupational therapy. We are fortunate to have a facility like Rutland Regional Medical Center right in our community. It has allowed me to regain my strength and get back to the activities I enjoy.

Jeff Wallin, Brandon, Vermont

Tom & Charline Skelly

While at a routine visit to his audiologist, Tom suffered a massive heart attack.

"Very little of that do I remember," said Tom, "but I do have in the back of my mind somebody saying to me, 'Don't give up.' So, I didn't give up and the people working on me didn't give up. That’s why I’m here today."

The quick thinking of Sonce Pearce, a nurse at Rutland Regional's ENT & Audiology clinic and emergency medical services saved Tom's life and made for a quicker recovery.

"I was just totally amazed and deeply appreciative of all the kindness and concern that was shown to me and the rest of my family," said Charline. "We're very fortunate to have the level of care and compassion at Rutland Regional. And we are grateful for that."

Our passion to treat every patient as our own is rooted in the belief that we treat all our patients as if they were family. We are so pleased to be a part of Tom & Charline's family, and wish them all the best as they celebrate 56 years together in 2016!

Rick Wilbur

rick wilbur patient storyRick is looking forward to retirement at the end of next year though it is not because he wants to take it easy. Not even close. "I keep busy for sure," said Rick. "Between hunting, fishing, playing golf and bowling with my wife, I’ve got plenty to do still.”

In a split second, one day this past October, much of Rick's active retirement was in question after a painful accident involving a saw at his home in Clarendon. "I was working on cutting wood to shim up the utility trailer in the yard and I reached my hand to grab the wood and somehow grabbed the running saw. I thought I lost my hand."

His wife Susan reacted quickly and wrapped his hand and Rick was on his way to Rutland Regional Medical Center. Help was there immediately. "Within a minute of walking in the door a receptionist fast tracked me to exam room #1 and in moments I was seen by Robert Mitchell, a physician’s assistant, who quickly assessed my injury. Next thing I knew a nurse was cleaning me up to prepare my hand to be stitched."

The entire visit, from beginning to end was less than 90 minutes. "I was home with daylight still in the sky," he said. "And I only missed two days of work!"

Rick is also an active deacon in the church across the street from his home and he was especially pleased to be able to attend services the Sunday following his accident. As a full-time Rutland County Deputy Sheriff, Rick has seen his fair share of accidents involving injuries and he can appreciate how quickly things can happen. "One minute you’re working around the house, the next minute you think you’ve lost your hand. Things can really happen in an instant, in a split second."

After his treatment the medical team carefully explained how he should care of the wound and told him what to expect in terms of potential numbness and scarring. "They really took the time with me. And the amazing part was how nicely everything healed. I’m not looking to be a hand model, but my hand looks good!"

The quick thinking and treatment by the Rutland Regional Medical Center Emergency Department (ED) team helped Rick keep full use of his hand and fingers and to heal nicely.

Weeks later he returned to the ED to have the stitches removed and Dr. Josh Harris tended to him. "The follow-up with Dr. Harris was great! He took the stitches out, was encouraging, had a great sense of humor and really made me feel comfortable and taken care of. I was able to ask questions and he invited me to call if I had any other questions. Excellent customer service."

Though Rick's hand modelling career may never take off, he is assured that his active lifestyle will continue long after he retires and perhaps his best golf game, bowling game or largest catch are still ahead.

The Tomey's


When Norma Tomey, a resident of Dorset, VT, began feeling symptoms of a heart attack, her husband Edmund immediately called 911 to have her rushed to the hospital. Given the acute situation, Norma was taken to closest hospital with the necessary level of emergency cardiac care − Rutland Regional Medical Center.

Edmund was used to going to Dartmouth-Hitchcock for his own cardiac treatment, having had a valve replacement and two bypasses there two years ago, and he was not sure what to expect at Rutland Regional. But he and his wife couldn't have been happier with the care and attention Norma received in the Emergency Department and the Rutland Heart Center. “When we arrived there the staff sprang into action and when she was admitted to the cardiac floor she was given unbelievable attention.” A former registered nurse, Norma was especially impressed. “I can’t say enough about the staff. Every doctor has been optimum and the nurses behaved as if they were private duty nurses. We were really pleased.”

Edmund’s satisfaction with Norma’s care was certainly a plus when just a week later he too was rushed to Rutland Regional for emergency cardiac care. This time, concerned he might be experiencing a heart attack, Edmund was admitted to the cardiac floor under the care of cardiologist James Fitts. After determining that Edmund had atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes the heartbeat to become irregular, Dr. Fitts installed a pacemaker and Edmund has been feeling “perfectly normal” ever since. He now gets his monitoring and ongoing care at Rutland Heart Center. “It’s convenient and I am not giving up anything in terms of quality.”

As for Norma, a comprehensive series of tests under the guidance of Rutland Heart Center cardiologist Bartholomew Bonazinga determined that Norma had a gall bladder condition that affected her platelet count. She is now monitored and treated for that condition in another department at the hospital.

For the Tomey’s, the level of care they received at Rutland Heart Center was a wonderful surprise. Thinking of leaving Vermont before this experience they are now reconsidering, in large part because of the medical resources available close by at Rutland Regional. Meanwhile, they are both enjoying their good health − taking walks together as well as working at a local farm stand. As Edmund says, “I’m 77 going on 67!”

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