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"Patient and Wife Experience Incredible Care"


Lauren K. has been a patient of the Heart Failure Clinic and Cardiac Rehab Program at St. Charles Mercy Hospital since 1997. He and his wife, Ruth, credit Cardiac Rehab Manager Samantha Christie, RN, BSN, and nurses Carrie Reif, RN, and Joni Wiegand, RN, with going above and beyond to provide excellent care to Lauren and outstanding support to Ruth.

“Many times, they have prevented situations that would have resulted in Lauren being hospitalized and have helped to keep him stable and as active as possible,” Ruth said. “Lauren had a heart attack in 1997 and another heart attack plus a stroke in 2001. His heart is weak, and it takes a great deal of effort to keep him out of heart failure. He is on 25 different medications, and that is a lot for me to manage. I have had to learn a lot – but I have had a great support team in place while doing so. Sam has really helped me understand his condition and his medications. I feel like I am never alone in taking care of him – I have this wonderful team I can call on whenever I need them, and I know I can depend on them.”

Ruth said she and Lauren have come to count Samantha, Carrie and Joni as not only dependable care providers, but close friends.

“Every time we have gone to the clinic, they have treated us like family, and that is exactly how we see them – as part of our family, part of our team,” Ruth said. “They have, from the beginning, shown us they are very interested in Lauren’s care and his well-being. Sam has even called us from home on weekends to see how he is doing. And, about eight years ago, our son contracted a virus that attacked his heart and spent a couple of weeks at St. Charles. We nearly lost him. As soon as she heard, Sam came to see us – she spent as much time as she could, staying right by our side. Thankfully, he pulled through and made a full recovery, but I will never forget her compassion and kindness while we worried that he might not make it.”

Ruth said Samantha, Carrie and Joni always make her and Lauren feel special, but she knows they are not the only patient and spouse to receive such high quality and compassionate care and service.

“I see them take extra steps for other patients all the time,” Ruth said. “I have even witnessed them respond to an emergency in the clinic when a patient collapsed. They worked quickly and calmly – they were so professional, yet with love and care.”

Ruth said she counts each day with Lauren as a blessing for which she thanks the nurses in the Cardiac Rehab and Heart Failure Clinic.

“Everyday with Lauren requires careful attention to his condition,” Ruth said. “It’s like we’re sitting on a sharp razor edge, constantly having to adjust his doses of lasix to keep him out of heart failure and out of the hospital. That Lauren is still living at home and walking on his own two feet is worth a lot to us. And for me, being a 24/7 caregiver, to have their support and friendship has made all the difference. I want everyone at St. Charles to know that they have some amazing nurses working in the Cardiac Rehab and Heart Failure Clinic.”

Sam, Carrie and Joni are excellent examples of employees who are delivering on Mercy’s brand promise to provide patients and their loved ones with the best, most personal care, which will help us achieve our vision – to be the first choice for healthcare.



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