Patient Number 5
One of the great benefits of launching a public awareness campaign is, well, awareness! Many of you, my former patients, have reached out to say, “We’re cheering you on!” and I thank you for it. You’re the very reason why I’m speaking out.
You’ve been sharing your stories with me and in almost every case, you can’t say enough about the hard working people who provide great care. You remind me that my staff and physicians work very hard, often in cramped conditions where it is difficult to have even a private conversation.
I want you to meet Doug. He was a patient just last spring and, unfortunately, he was the fifth person in a four-bed unit. Doug had undergone a major surgery earlier that day and was now recovering. He was in a lot of pain and he had a catheter in place.
Doug (or Number 5 as he likes to call himself) is 6ft tall and weighs more than 200 lbs. When he was placed on the narrow cot and positioned into the corner of the room, he almost couldn’t believe it. He was next to a sink, and so he had many people walking past his bed. As for sleep? There was no such thing, he says.
Doug told me he remembers two things very well about his time at the Alex. He recalls there were many people in his room who were visiting patients, including his own family who were there to see him. It made a crowded room even more so. What else does he remember? You guessed it — the compassion of the people who cared for him. “They did everything they could to make me comfortable,” he says, “In a very tight space.”
Thank you for sharing your story, Number 5. It’s because of you and thousands more like you that I am sharing my own story — of waiting more than 20 years at the top of the list for infrastructure redevelopment.
I think it’s obvious why my message is very important: If I get funded, patients like Doug win.