Patient shares heartfelt thanks

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From the sound of his letter dated Oct. 3, Orlo Thoen of Bigfork didn’t realize he wouldn’t be heading directly home after a recent catherization procedure at Kalispell Regional Medical Center; until Dr. Nathan Hall determined the clogged state of his patient’s arteries warranted immediate admission to the hospital. Soon after, Thoen had open heart surgery, performed by Dr. Drew Kirschner.

“When Dr. Kirschner recognized the need to re-open the heart to find a bleeding problem, he did not take the decision lightly,” Thoen wrote. “Dr. Kirschner has an amazing, caring and knowledgeable surgical team who assisted in both surgeries.”

Thoen credited his anesthesiologist Dr. Howard Harvey with addressing Thoen’s concern about his throat from previous surgeries; he awoke from his surgeries with no soreness. He also mentioned Matt and John, two ICU nurses who provided efficient and thoughtful care after both surgeries, and Louise and the second floor Intermediate Care nursing staff who gave extraordinary care prior to surgery.

“They treated me ‘like they would want their father to be treated,” Thoen said.

“Everyone who came through my room during my stay made me feel welcome and special — from the cleaning ladies, those who took my food orders and delivered my meals, Renee (aka ‘Salty’) and every nurse or aide who responded to my needs.

“I appreciate Dana, Mike and Vicky who provided guidance and thoughtful care in my follow-up health care,” Thoen said, adding “I want all of you involved in my care to know it was as good as it could be … and I am grateful. We are blessed to have Rocky Mountain Heart and Lung Cardiac Surgery and KRMC in the Flathead Valley. I am so thankful I was here when I needed their expertise.”

Orlo, we’re happy to hear that you received such expert care. I wanted to follow up with you to see how you’re doing, but was unable to get through on the phone number you provided with your letter. Know that the Inter Lake appreciates you taking time to write us and we hope you’re well on the road to recovery.

Bailey Lake isn’t one to leave things for someone else to do. The Glacier High School freshman has spearheaded many community service projects and fundraisers over the years, from leading drives for the Veterans Food Pantry and Toys for Tots to co-teaching sheep showmanship clinics for fellow 4-H’rs.

Her most recent drive was kindled by a $750 Round Up for Safety grant she, together with the Kalispell Senior Center, successfully applied for from Flathead Electric. Lake’s goal for her Citizen’s Safety Fire Prevention Project was to raise enough money to provide up to 100 smoke detectors to area seniors. With the money she raised, Lake raised a total of $1,950 and was able to buy 130 smoke detectors.

Agape Home Care matched the grant. The Kalispell Senior Center and Agency on Aging assisted in identifying those in need and in purchasing the smoke detectors.

Community editor Carol Marino can be reached at 758-4440 or cmarino@dailyinterlake.com.

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