I’m having this chat with you the day before the election where the hospital tax will be on the ballot. I was in school here when Cedar County Memorial Hospital was first built, but I never paid much attention to it and just took the hospital for granted.

About seven years ago, on a Friday night, Dec. 21, I awakened during the night and couldn’t breathe. That day Dr. Rick Casey had wanted to put me in the hospital and I didn’t want to go, so he prescribed a small oxygen pump. When I woke up, it was running, but try as I might, I couldn’t get enough air.  Davis called his uncle, Tom Gough, who lives a quarter mile away and Tom was soon there with an oxygen tank and a mask. That helped immensely. Tom called the CCAD ambulance which came out through a driving ice storm. I remember the wheels on the gurney hitting the wood tile in our hallway. The next time I was conscious was in Select Specialty Hospital in Springfield in January.

The Cedar County ambulance crew and Tom spent an hour at our house trying to stabilize me. I was sweating so  profusely no leads would stick to my chest, Tom said. Then the ambulance took me to Cedar County Memorial where they x-rayed me, discovered I was totally locked up with pneumonia and decided I needed to be in Mercy Hospital in Springfield. The helicopter couldn’t fly in that weather so I got an ambulance ride down.

I spent 17 days in a coma in the Mercy ICU. Then they transferred me to Select Specialty. After three more days I came to. The Select Specialty staff was just like family. One of my little nurses told me one day, “You almost died.” My response probably wasn’t what she expected. I said, “So?”

You’ll likely see me walking with a cane because my brain was starved for oxygen leaving me with several spots on my brain and unsteady on my feet. But I credit that I’m alive at all to my brother-in-law, an ambulance crew and Cedar County Memorial Hospital.

– I talked, actually did more listening, to a Stockton resident who called Cedar County Memorial and the Bolivar hospital “secondary hospitals” and said he didn’t want to be taken there.  I thought about what RN Bailey Bailey said about how many lives she has seen CCMH save (or extend) so they could be transported to a bigger hospital. Then I thought about Tom’s oxygen tank and what it did for me.  Folks, if Cedar County Memorial or one person with an oxygen tank can prolong your life just long enough to get you to a bigger hospital 80 miles away, they have done their job and served their purpose. Without Tom’s oxygen even Cedar County Memorial and St. John’s/Mercy wouldn’t have done me any good.

– I just went to Dr. Casey Thursday. Without Cedar County Memorial, neither one of us might have been alive or functional.

– Dr. Casey doesn’t know where he got Covid 19. He said no one else in his family got it from him. None of his fellow employees at Mercy Clinic in El Dorado Springs got it. None of his patients got it.

-While Brother Doyle Mayfield was preaching Friday at the  Fifth Sunday Service at Hazel Dell and mentioned the Prodigal Son,  he said that when a man gets old enough to realize that his father actually knew what he was talking about, his own son starts thinking he doesn’t know anything.

– On an article Bud Olinger sent me was this little tidbit:

While we were at at skating rink, my husband gave our seven year old a dollar to buy something io eat at the vending machine. Unable to get the dollar into the machine, the boy returned and said, “This one doesn’t work. I need one with Bill Clinton on it.”

Puzzled, I went over to the food area with my son. He pointed to the notation on the machine, “Insert Bill Here.” KL

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