As challenging as 2020 has been, I hope you have found opportunities for learning and introspection. I certainly have.
I want to share my story with you because I am especially thankful for McLeod Foundation donors, like you, who provide support with your gifts and reassurance to our teams. You help ensure front-line staff throughout our system meet critical COVID-19 needs while continuing to provide the care our communities count on.
In so many ways, you are an encouragement for staff working long hours and facing the greatest challenges we have ever encountered.
As our teams dealt with an unprecedented healthcare crisis, we depended on our well-established quality initiatives to direct protocols for care. We were fortunate that this important quality work had been McLeod Health’s focus for more than two decades.
As the early weeks passed, we were gratified to see critically ill patients begin responding to treatment. The resources our teams needed to stay safe while caring for patients were often available because of our generous supporters, like you.
This year more than ever before, you were there when we needed you. On behalf of our entire McLeod Health team thank you for rallying around us through our toughest times.
We face the coming months knowing that challenges will continue, and we are counting on your help again. We ask you to join us today with your gift to help ensure our teams are there for every patient in our region who seeks care.
I am honored to be able to write to you today to express my appreciation not only as a physician but also as a patient.
During a typically busy workday in August, I began shivering. I left work and went home to find that I was feeling the effects of an extremely high temperature. That evening I went to the Emergency Department where a chest X-ray determined that I had pneumonia.
After additional testing including a lung biopsy, I was told that I had tested positive for COVID-19.
I had never in my life been admitted to a hospital, but I was extremely sick. I became a patient on one of the COVID units.
I have practiced as a Pulmonologist at McLeod for nearly 20 years. I have worked with the nurses and clinical teams and have always admired their attention to quality. I have great confidence that my patients are well cared for clinically.
Now, I was the patient.
My perspective of our staff has changed dramatically. I had no concept of the scope of their kindness in meeting every possible need beyond a patient’s clinical care.
I felt terrible, I could not walk, and my family could not be with me. I knew that every staff member who came into my room was risking their safety and the safety of their families.
However, I never saw worry in their eyes. They always cared for me with smiles and compassion.
Through their dedicated professional treatment, I began to recover and was eventually able to go home to my family.
After a slow recovery, I am finally back to the work I love, caring for my patients. Many of them have been medically challenged with COVID-19 as well. My experience has made me a better doctor. It has allowed me to have greater empathy for the impact of illness and hospitalization on my patients and their families.
Please allow me to share the many ways I am grateful.
I am grateful for a world-class medical center in my hometown that provided me the treatment to fully recover.
I am grateful for generous donors, like you, who support and encourage our work.
I am grateful for a loving community that rallied around my family with prayers and help during our scariest moments.
As we move towards the close of a year that has been full of challenges, I am certain that we can face the future with renewed purpose and improved perspective together.
Vinod Jona, M.D.
Chief of Staff
McLeod Regional Medical Center
P.S. Please help again by making your personally meaningful gift today. You never know who will be saved through your generosity.