An open letter to Methodist Hospital

I've struggled for a few weeks on how to write this letter. I am so full of appreciation- it is hard to put it into words.

My father, Royce Sperry, was a patient twice recently on the Cardiac Unit where I work. He was there just before Thanksgiving and then again December 2-15 for extensive open heart surgery. Unfortunately, an ileus kept him in the hospital longer than any of us wanted, but I am happy to report that he is recovering well at home and going to cardiac rehab regularly in Blair. He says to tell all his new friends "Hi."

On a personal note, it is very difficult to have your loved one in the hospital and I'm not sure if being a nurse myself makes it harder or not, especially when he was a patient on the unit I work on. It is hard to separate yourself from being the nurse to being the daughter. Thankfully, the staff at our hospital made that easier for me. The kindness and compassion that was shown to me and my family were unforgettable - everyone was more than kind and generous.

I am especially thankful to the following staff:

  • My boss, Bud Erickson, for allowing me to take time off and Kim Robison for encouraging me to do so. That was a huge relief!
  • The valet drivers, who opened the door for me almost every day, always had a smile and a friendly greeting.
  • The housekeepers who cleaned my dad's room - especially Johnny and Gloria who were always positive and encouraging. Gloria even shared her lunch break with my mom one day when I had to leave. She then came again at least one other time, just to visit with her - what a blessing that was.
  • The doctors and APRNs - I especially enjoyed the big smile on Dr. John Batter and Dr. Susana Harrington's faces when they stopped by on the evening my dad was discharged. We were all so happy he was finally getting to go home. Dr. Jurrens is great at the bedside explaining her plan of care.
  • Finally, all the nurses and aides who took care of my father during both of his visits. Special mention to Katherine Mokler and Katie VanGalder who took care of him several days and were very good at getting a little smile from him, even at his grumpiest moments; Taylor Johnson, who just sat with him for at least a half hour one night when his hiccoughs were making it hard for him to breathe; Brenda Phillips in Cardiac Rehab who pushed him to work hard even when he didn't want to. Megan Wessling and Barb Birkholt who rigged up the yankaur (a suctioning tool) so he could just taste liquids other than the dreaded mouth swabs; and all the other staff on the Cardiac Unit.

The kindness and compassion that was shown to me and my family were unforgettable - everyone was more than kind and generous.

Jen Nelson

I was able to go home each night knowing he was getting the best care. So, for not being able to find words, my letter is finding itself a little lengthy but still does not express all that I am feeling. It is one thing to say that Methodist is the "Meaning of Care," but another to experience it. The knowledge, teamwork, compassion, kindness and creativity is what makes the Cardiac Unit excellent and was so completely evident during my father's stay. I am so blessed and fortunate that I can call these wonderful people my coworkers.


Jen Nelson, RN, BSN, PCCN, Core Coordinator, Cardiac Unit