Bette Roberts may not have known much about the healthcare available at Duncan Regional Hospital or Jefferson County Hospital but she when her care was finished, she was a believer. “All my caregivers not only provided excellent care, but they also became my friend,” said Bette.
Joe and Bette Roberts, who in 2019 celebrated 68 years of marriage
It all started when Bette collapsed to the floor at 2:00 am. “I told my husband, Joe, just grab my feet and drag me to the bed, and I will be alright,” smiled Bette. Luckily, he didn’t do that even though he did get her a pillow for her head as he called his daughter for help. Bette was rushed to the hospital in Ardmore and diagnosed with a brain bleed; upon which she transferred to OU in Oklahoma City. After receiving treatment, Bette was discharged five days later.
“I was at home and began to have severe abdominal pain,” said Bette. “We live near Healdton, so I went to the hospital there.” Diagnosed with a blockage in her colon, she needed to be transferred to a hospital that could care for this type of condition. After several calls, it was Duncan Regional Hospital that could take Bette.
Dr. Rodney Huddleston (hospitalist) and Dr. Che Miller (surgeon) both examined Bette where they decided she needed surgery to repair the blockage. “I had two previous surgeries on my colon, and I didn’t want to be cut open,” said Bette. “Dr. Miller felt he could perform the surgery laparoscopically.”
Once in surgery, it became very apparent this wasn’t going to be a simple surgery. “Later Dr. Miller told us my colon looked like a ‘plate of tangled pasta that had superglue poured all over it,’” said Bette. “He had to untangle my colon – he took my colon completely out of my body to do that!”
Bette spent a week in the Intensive Care Unit where her son stated: “it was the people in ICU that saved my mom’s life.” She then was transferred to a med/surge floor. “The nurses were awesome, they attended to my every need,” shared Bette. During this time, Dr. May took over her care. “You couldn’t ask for a nicer man,” said Bette. “He was so encouraging.” The day before Bette was due to be transferred to Jefferson County Hospital (JCH) for rehabilitation, Dr. May came to see her. “He was going off shift so he pulled up a chair and we talked for 30 minutes,” said Bette. “I told him he would forget me, but I would never forget him and his kindness.”
At Jefferson County Hospital, Bette received three weeks of antibiotic care and rehabilitation. Little did she know a family member would receive life-saving care there too! Her seven-month pregnant granddaughter was visiting from Midland, Texas, and started to have stomach pains. She thought she might be having Braxton-hicks contractions. The nurses took her to be seen by the doctor and surprise – she was in labor. They quickly transferred her to Wichita Falls as her wish was to get home to Midland to have her baby. A week later, Bette’s great-grandson, Lane, was born! He spent seven weeks in the NICU, but he is home and doing very well. “My granddaughter and Lane will be coming to visit me soon,” said Bette. “But their first stop will be at JCH so they can meet Lane.”
Three weeks later, Bette left the hospital. “If I am ever sick again, I will only go to Duncan Regional Hospital or Jefferson County Hospital,” said Bette. “Anyone can do the basics and take care of a patient, but everyone involved in my care consistently went above and beyond the basics to make me feel good.”