After nearly closing its doors five years ago, St. Vincent Hospital, under new leadership and a dedicated team of employees, has been executing a remarkable turnaround. With its finances and hospital operations on solid footing, along with the renewed trust and support of our citizens, SVH will be able to add to the 140 years of delivering quality healthcare to our community, including the many visitors we see in Leadville.

I am a volunteer with the SVH Foundation and also a consumer of our hospital’s emergency services. Last fall, while doing some routine yardwork clearing slash and dead wood from some trees, a large branch I was working on snapped off and hit me on the top of my head. While the hat I was wearing was fine, my skull received a bloody laceration. I drove myself to the ER, was quickly admitted and received outstanding care – from the initial injury assessment, cleansing the wound, application of six staples, and the final checkout. The ER team worked efficiently, seamlessly, and had great communication skills, with me and each other. I was back home in about 45 minutes.

Eight days later, on Sept. 28, I was witness to a life-threatening trauma situation. My brother and sister-in-law were visiting from New Jersey, as they have a number of times. Peggy woke up that morning after a difficult night, showing what we thought were symptoms of mountain sickness. Around noon with no improvement, we went to Dr. Lisa’s Rocky Mountain Family Practice. When Amy learned Peggy had diabetes, she checked her glucose level and found it was dangerously high. We were immediately sent to the ER. This was the first in a number of critical steps that saved my sister-in-law’s life that day. The ER took her in, ran a series of lab tests and quickly determined she’d had a heart attack. They acted quickly to stabilize her and address multiple medical issues, while also arranging Flight for Life transport to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Lakewood, where she would receive advanced cardiac life-support for the next 10 days. Although she doesn’t remember much from that day, Peggy was stable, conscious, and talking as she was wheeled to the helicopter. Thanks to our Lake County continuum of care — Amy at RMFP, our ER doc and staff, Flight for Life — my sister-in-law is alive and doing very well. In her own words, “I would not be here today if it wasn’t for St. Vincent’s Emergency Room.”

St. Vincent Hospital was there for me and my family in our time of need. Thanks to the dedication and commitment of its staff and leadership, our hometown hospital will be here for all of us for many years to come.

Bob Smith

Lake County

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