With the many advances in care and treatments, today’s patients have more and more reasons to expect the best outcomes. Here are the incredible stories of our patients and their journeys. Click on a thumbnail and scroll down to view each story.
Paris Pate spent more than 260 days in McLeod Health Cheraw and McLeod Regional Medical Center battling complications from COVID-19. In May 2022, the hospital staff and members of the Cheraw and Bennettsville communities came together to celebrate with Paris and her family as she walked out of McLeod Health Cheraw with the assistance of a walker and staff alongside her.
Paris’s extensive hospitalization at McLeod Health Cheraw endeared her to the staff who now consider her part of their family. Registered Respiratory Therapist Sandi Byrd said, “Those of us in Respiratory were with Paris from day one. We saw her in her lows and her highs. I could not imagine staying in the hospital for months like she did, and I know she missed being at home with her family and friends. I’m very thankful that I was a part of her care knowing how far she came since she first arrived at McLeod Health Cheraw in August 2021.”
After receiving more advanced intensive care at McLeod Regional Medical Center, Paris was transported back to McLeod Health Cheraw in December 2021. At the McLeod hospital closer to her home in Bennettsville, Paris impacted the lives of many staff members, especially the Respiratory Therapy team.
Danielle Pentecost, RRT, explained, “Paris touched the lives of every healthcare provider who cared for her. She allowed us to be part of a true miracle, giving us all inspiration when we needed it the most.
“She is the definition of humble and kind with a smile that lights up the entire room. I was fortunate to be part of
her recovery process at McLeod Health Cheraw.”
Another member of the Respiratory Therapy team, Tracy Hatcher, RCP, shared, “Paris is a patient who will certainly always be remembered. She taught me more than I could have ever taught her, and she is proof that miracles do happen every day. After being hospitalized for almost one year, Paris had many overwhelming days of despair.
“One day, she asked if there was any way she could go outside, and I had the privilege of being the one to share this moment with her, alongside her physical therapist and nurse. Once we opened the door and pushed her out in the wheelchair, Paris immediately threw her hands up in the air, closed her eyes, and said ‘thank you, Jesus.’
“I get chills every time I think about that moment,” recalled Tracy. “This made it all worth it for me. All the hard work, blood, sweat and tears shed through COVID had been lifted. I was honored to be a part of sharing this moment with her as we all cried happy tears. Her willpower and determination will always be something I strive for every day. Through it all, Paris had a smile on her sweet face and remained so strong in her faith. She never gave up.”
Paris’s recovery highlighted the Medical Surgical, Respiratory Therapy and Rehabilitation Services’ teamwork at McLeod Health Cheraw.
Pricilla McRae, Director of Respiratory Therapy, added, “As I listened to the staff during shift change sharing experiences and tears regarding Paris’ progress, it reminded me of a quote by Steve Maraboli: ‘We are designed with a dreaming brain and a hopeful spirit; it is our nature to envision the life of our dreams. And while dreaming comes easy to us, we must never forget that it takes strength, dedication and courageous action to bring that dream to life.’
“Paris had a dream that she shared with the Respiratory staff, her desire to have her tracheostomy removed, walk and return home. With her faith in God, strength and dedication, and the courageous actions of the medical staff at McLeod Health Cheraw, her dream was brought to life.”
As a long-stay COVID patient, Paris was more than ready to return home, and her goal was to leave the hospital on her own two feet. The staff knew Paris’ goal and they were determined to help her reach it. “There was one day in particular I will never forget as it truly touched my heart,” explained Danielle.
“I assisted Physical Therapy and another Respiratory Therapist while Paris walked down the hall. She made it more than halfway to the front door, which was the longest she had walked.
“When Paris returned to her room, she sat on the bed with tears rolling down her face. She said, ‘Thank you, all of you, for saving my life.’ We were all crying with her, and she added with a smile, ‘I love all of you, but I’m walking out that front door.’ And she did,” added Danielle.
On that warm May afternoon as Paris prepared to leave the hospital after her long journey, several speakers offered remarks, including Paris’ Pastor Eddie Davis with Community of Grace Church, South Carolina House Representative Pat Henegan and Hospital Chaplain James Smith. Paris was also driven home in a limousine with a police escort.
Paris addressed those gathered that day as well. “People say treat others the way you want to be treated. These loving nurses and staff have been good to me... all of them. I’m so grateful to be alive. I’m grateful... grateful... grateful. Just tell anybody, everybody how good God has been to me. And God did it.”
Today, Paris is enjoying her life at home with her family. She recently shared that after returning to church in a wheelchair and on oxygen, then a walker and oxygen, on August 14, she walked into church with no oxygen. “God has been with me every step of the way.”