Almost every day we open letters and emails from former patients, their friends and their families thanking us for the care they received here at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. We are grateful to them for taking the time to let us know about their experience, updating us on their recovery, and telling the stories that can only come from real people. To share your story, drop us an email.
Your name will not be used, unless you give your consent.
Below, we share a selection of those stories with you.
Over several years, Jan Roby of Worthington had her right knee
deteriorate so much that walking was painful, staircases were
insurmountable — and the inspiration and patience to create her beloved
paintings and fiber art gradually was vanishing.
"Nurturing, but not taking any guff."
When cortisone shots failed to ease Jan's suffering, her doctor
encouraged Jan to see a joint specialist at the Cooley Dickinson Center
for Human Motion in Northamption. Within months, Jan, had received a
total knee replacement in The Joint Replacement Center.
"It was really a hugely life-changing experience"
Sharon Feeney of Greenfield had a total hysterectomy in October 2009, and she's still thrilled at how petite the scars are. "It's not like I would show my scars to people," she says. "But I'm extremely glad that there is so little to show."
Sharon had minimally invasive surgery, rather than a traditional hysterectomy, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital's Kittredge Surgery Center, and she remains gratified by the resulting miniscule blemishes. They remind her of the surprisingly quick recovery that allowed her to get back on her bicycle two weeks after the procedure was performed by Gynecologist Tucker Kueny, MD.
Armand "Buddy" Duseau, Jr.'s battle with a deadly form of cancer began in April 2007, back when Buddy thought his biggest health concern was a bad knee. At this time, Buddy and his wife, Nancy, learned that instead of recovering from joint replacement surgery, Buddy would be fighting for his life.
Routine blood tests performed by the orthopedic surgeon revealed that Buddy's platelet count was low, so he was referred to Dr. George R. Bowers, medical director of Cooley Dickinson Hospital's Cancer Care Program. Buddy was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a disease of the bone marrow that leads to low blood counts, and often, leukemia. The prognosis was bleak.
Robert "Bob" Kies
"It works. It's astonishing. It really is."
For 20 years, Robert "Bob" Kies of Easthampton lived with chronic pain in his lower back.
Bob's a maintenance man at the Northampton Senior Center, and
sometimes it was his work duties that would create the tinge that he
knew would soon enough turn into pain so severe he wouldn't be able to
stand upright. Sometimes, all it took was a cough to set him off.
Certain that a physician would recommend surgery, Bob never sought help for the problem. "I didn't know what to do," he says. (continued)
Saulsberry of Amherst was impressed with the totally cohesive
experience Cooley Dickinson provided him with in its total Joint
Replacement Center last December.
"It was a really positive experience."
Mr. Saulsberry had his left knee replaced on Dec. 15, 2008, and
says, for major surgery, the experience was remarkably calming, and he
notes that the quality of care in the Joint Replacement Center was
excellent and the program itself well-designed. "From the very
beginning – the invitation, the orientation, the tour of the center –
it just put one's mind at ease," he says.
Mr. Saulsberry attended an orientation session and tour of the
center several days before his surgery and was put at ease by all the
information he received regarding what to expect, the extent of
potential complications, the center's work to prevent infections and
even an outline of what each of the four days spent in the center would
be like. "I knew exactly what was going to happen and who was in
charge," he says. (continued)
Cancer Care Program Video Testimonial
Click on the image to the left to begin the video presentation. You will need to have Adobe Flash installed on your computer.
Dr. Edward Levitz
"He cares. He truly takes an interest in people."
Dr. George Hartnell holds the lives of many people in his capable hands.
In his specialty of Vascular and Special Interventions, Dr. Hartnell examines the most fragile but intensely life-sustaining structures of his patients' anatomies – their arteries.
Dr. Hartnell is the most widely experienced cardiovascular and interventional radiologist in the region with 25-plus years in vascular and interventional radiology. He uses minimally invasive technology to treat certain cancers, peripheral artery disease, uterine fibroids and other conditions.
He is committed to saving lives. Like Dr. Edward Levitz's. (continued)
"I truly, truly think the nursing staff in the Joint Replacement Center are beyond excellence"
Madeline Hunter of Easthampton was an avid runner and an active woman in general until arthritic pain in her right knee began to slow her down about 10 years ago. She stopped running then, but she didn't succumb to joint replacement surgery until last winter, when, at 59, she was using a cane and her mobility was severely impeded.
Madeline decided then – several years after Dr. Jonathan Kurtis of Hampshire Orthopedics first recommended surgery – that her "magical thinking" that the pain could be controlled some other way had to change.
Making the decision to have her knee replaced in Cooley Dickinson Hospital's Joint Replacement Center changed her life. (continued)
"I figured if I was going to have the surgery, I’d like to have the best, and I believe I did."
Stanley Lech is lucky his wife, Nancy, gives him a little push now and then. And both Stanley and Nancy feel lucky that Cooley Dickinson has opened its Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery Program.
Since Stanley hadn’t had a physical in 15 years, Nancy made an appointment for him in the spring to see his primary care physician, Dr. Timothy Parsons, who found a nodule on Stanley’s prostate and referred him to the Urology Group of Western New England.... (continued)
George T. Lewis
"I was totally impressed —not only with the facility but also with the entire staff"
George T. Lewis of Williamsburg has suffered with arthritis for 20 years, and so is all too familiar with the joint replacement process. He’s had his right hip replaced three times, and on April 30, he had his left hip replaced.
During this most recent procedure, he had the distinction of becoming one of the first patients to be operated on in the hospital’s new Kittredge Surgery Center, and he was one of the first to recover in the expanded Joint Replacement Center... (continued)
"It was a very nice experience. You just felt like they wanted to make your stay as comfortable as they could make it."
Until April 30, 71-year-old Ruth-Alice Laliberte had never spent a night in a hospital —not even as an infant. Ruth-Alice, like her mother, was born at home in the house in Easthampton that she and three previous generations of her family have occupied for over 100 years. Ruth-Alice’s mother was born in the family home as well and also never stayed in a hospital until she was 61.
So it was a big event for Ruth-Alice when she had her left knee replaced at Cooley Dickinson Hospital on April 30 and spent the next week recovering here as well. The experience was a very pleasant one for her, though, and it was made more meaningful by the fact that she was the first person to be operated on in the hospital’s new Kittredge Surgery Center and one of the first three patients to recover in the expanded Joint Replacement Center... (continued)