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Jeanie's Story

Jeanie King and her husband, Jerry.

My name is Jeanie King and I live in Joseph, Oregon - a small town of 1,000 people. I write to you today because my life was saved by the critical care team at Providence St. Mary.

After you read this letter, I hope you will make a contribution to ensure exceptional care is available, close to home, for patients just like me.

It started right after Christmas 2013. I went to the doctor three times with a severe cold and difficulty breathing. None of the clinics I visited could find the reason for my symptoms. I had been healthy until then.

On Super Bowl Sunday, when many were looking forward to the big game, I woke my husband in the wee hours of the morning, unable to breathe. I told him, “I feel like I’m dying. Take me to the hospital.” It didn't take long before I became unconscious.

When the ambulance arrived, I was in bad shape. I had respiratory failure and a severe infection. The paramedics decided to transport me 114 miles in the middle of a snow storm to the regional Emergency and Trauma Center at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla. I am so grateful they did.

When I arrived, I was thoroughly assessed by a trauma team of nurses and doctors. Because of my condition, I was quickly transferred to Intensive Care with my husband by my side. Within hours, my brain began to swell. Later, my kidneys shut down and the doctors discovered my lung had collapsed and diagnosed me with emphysema. I was put on life support and into a medically-induced coma.

My chances of survival were very small but the critical care team quickly went to work and never gave up.

During my six weeks in Intensive Care, I was constantly monitored by advanced equipment, which directly alerted my nurses. They responded immediately to changes in my vital signs. The doctors worked day and night to find what was wrong. Dr. Davidson, the Pulmonologist, reached out to colleagues from around the nation for my respiratory problems. My husband said, “I haven’t seen a group of people anywhere else show such honest concern and teamwork.” They never gave up hope.

The critical care team’s persistence, knowledge and skills; along with the advanced technology and equipment, saved my life. My medicine was adjusted and my kidneys recovered. The infection went away with the right mix of antibiotics. Dr. Davidson found the cause of my brain swelling. I had a procedure on my collapsed lung.

My body began to heal and I came out of my coma.

During this confusing and overwhelming time, the staff showed such compassion to my loved ones. The nurses emphasized the importance of family and made sure my husband and son were cared for. They spent sun up until sun down by my side. When they felt tired, they slept in my room. They had their meals by my bedside. And the nurses kept in consistent communication, including them in my care.

If I had not been transferred to Providence St. Mary, I never would have met the nurses and doctors who are my angels. Their care and compassion saved my life. I’m also grateful to donors of Providence St. Mary Foundation. After healing, I learned that much of the equipment, including the nurse call system, was funded through their generous gifts.

Your tax-deductible gift will make sure exceptional care is available close to home when our friends, family and neighbors need it most.

Thank you in advance for your kind generosity.


King Jeanie Signature Cropped Black Ink

Jeanie King

P.S. Please join me in ensuring exceptional care is available in our region by sending a donation today. You can make such a difference!