Thank You For Superb Care
The list below includes just a few of the staff
*(I apologize for
not getting complete names. The nurse who supplied me with names was protective
of last names.)
Thank you to everyone !!!!
December 16, 1998Richard Mullins, M.D.
OHSU Trauma Service
Oregon Health Sciences University
Department of Surgery, L223-A
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland, Oregon 97201
Dear Dr. Mullins:
Thank you for saving Howard G. Earp, Sr.’s life (my father) on November 11, 1998 and for providing the care he received from November 11 through December 9, 1998. Both your surgical team and your staff told me that you saved his life. They told me you were the guiding force of OHSU’s Trauma ICU. They also hold you in highest esteem for the leadership and support you provide them. Superb leaders attract superb staff. It is no accident that you have attracted and assembled such a talented, dedicated team of surgeons, doctors, specialists, nurses and aides.
By all expectations, my father should have died. It is simply incredible that he lived; I credit that ‘miracle’ to you and your team and your dedication as a surgeon and as a human being and also to my father’s incredible will to live. He was, from his side, giving you and the powers that be all the support he could muster. He definitely didn’t want to die and he was willing to take life on its own terms, with all its limitations.
Not only did he live, he survived it all with his outrageous sense of humor intact. When he was permitted to talk (after the talk trach was installed), one of the first things he said was “hi, Joe,” to his son, Joe. Then a nurse asked him to say “hi, Steve.” He responded with the following full spoken sentence to the nurse: “Do you mean I have to get your permission to say ‘hello’ to Steve?” Imagine that, he’s cracking jokes. (He was smiling too.)
Even then, despite the injuries inflicted on his body, he managed to smile often. When I told him he had the most beautiful room overlooking Portland, and he had a view equal or better than from the Hill Villa, a smile spread across his face. It was only 4 days after his admission and he could already smile.
Under your superb direction, my father recovered day by day and in less and less pain. It amazed me to see him heal so quickly by leaps and bounds. I know it takes a huge team effort when one’s body has sustained such massive injuries and that pain management is just about impossible when one goes to death’s door and back. Well, somehow you did it, you kept him on track, healing and with his pain in check. He had some very good moments even among those early bad ones.
We were very lucky, but that this kind of luck doesn’t just happen. It is planned for, by the incredible doctors and nurses and staff that just gave EVERYTHING they could to make it happen; they held nothing back, even though Mr. Earp might die anyway. That kind of selfless dedication just blew me away; I witnessed it every single time I visited OHSU Trauma ICU. I was just in awe of the organization and planning and implementation of all the medical treatments OHSU did for him. Nothing less would have saved his life. And I saw this care provided equally to every patient by your excellent team in Trauma ICU. I'm told that OHSU 3NW also continued to provide superb care when Howard was transferred there.
If, in spite of everything, Mr. Earp had died, I would still write you this letter, because you demonstrated so clearly how you value life. The kind of doctoring that you and ICU Trauma OHSU do transcends the limits of mortal medicine. You are the reason he is alive and we [the family] are all inspired by your care. This is the best Christmas gift we could ever receive.
With deepest gratitude,
Mary (Earp) Ford, Howard Earp's daughter (Washington DC)
cc: Betty Grimwood, RN BSN, MPH - Nurse Manager TNICU/SICU
PS. Please email me corrections (name spelling, etc., if you'd like).