2002-12-07 / Letters

PHC Rating Is Unfair

PHC Rating Is Unfair

Dear Editor;

When I purchased my copy of The Wave dated 11/30/02, I was surprised to see the front-page story concerning a study depicting our hospital as providing care far below the national standard. I was indeed saddened by the need of President and CEO Robert Levine having to defend the wonderful care given at Peninsula Hospital Center.

I suffered a severe stroke on December 11, 1999 while driving my car to the Post Office in Fort Tilden.  By the time I had driven the two miles to mail some important letters, I was totally paralyzed on my right side and had lost my ability to speak. The Rockaway Point Volunteer Ambulance Service rushed me to PHC.  It being a Saturday, the technician who operates the CAT Scan was at home. He answered the emergency call and arrived quickly to perform the necessary testing.

All during the Emergency Room treatment I was constantly cared for by the nurses and Dr. Freidman who basically never left my side. The only chance I had for a rapid recovery was that I be administered TPA to break up the clot. The results of the CAT Scan were faxed to the neurosurgeon, Dr. Hausknecht, who authorized the medicines use. At this point 2 1/2 hours had passed since I was stricken. It was imperative that I receive this medication within 3 hours.

Dr. Freidman had arranged for the medical drip to be in place and so I received the TPA treatment as soon as he had received the authorization to proceed. This action resulted in my regaining my speech and some movement on my right side within 3 to 4 hours. By the next morning, I was able to talk and the following day to walk. What they did for me was to possibly save my life and at the very least prevent me from being an invalid for the rest of my life. I had experienced a 99 percent blockage of the carotid artery in my neck, which supplies blood to my brain.

I was then recommended to Dr. Henry Steiner, Chief of Surgery, to have the necessary surgery performed to remove the blockage in my artery. This was successfully done in March of 2000 and consequently I am able to write to you today fully healthy and I go to work daily. I am now 65 years old and thanks to Peninsula Hospital Center will be able to collect my Social Security and continue living a fruitful and productive life. 

I feel very fortunate that our neighborhood hospital had the necessary medicine on hand to treat my stroke and that their professionalism in caring for me was more than on a par with the big Manhattan hospitals considered to be the best in the world. A great deal of credit for the current standard of care goes to Mr. Levine and also to the leadership of Joel A. Miele, Chairman of the Hospital Board of Directors. Jointly they have fostered the increased personal care we receive when it is necessary for us to have a stay at the hospital.

FLETCHER C. EBERLE


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