Editor’s Letter September/October 2019

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While spending time in the hospital after the birth of my son last summer, I remember lying there trying to sleep—but I couldn’t. I had been up for almost 48 hours straight. Yet for some weird, adrenaline-fueled reason, it was impossible to nod off.

I told a couple of nurses about it… they told me to try to relax. When my overnight nurse introduced herself, I talked to her about my problem—she listened to me, heard the angst in my voice: “Why don’t I take him to the nursery for a couple hours?”

Her suggestion went against the preferred “baby in room” protocol at Virginia Baptist Hospital—intended to encourage bonding and breastfeeding between mom and child. It’s a policy I support. But I was desperate—and this nurse saw it.

After she took my son to the nursery, I was finally able to fall asleep for a couple of hours. Even better than that, the nurse ended up keeping him out of the room for a little longer than she initially said. Instead of waking him up for a feeding, my boy was sound asleep—so she let him, and me, do just that… sleep.

This nurse knew there were feeding times to follow, protocols to uphold. But above all of that, she knew I couldn’t physically or mentally continue on my journey as a mom without some rest. She saw me as a person… not a patient. This woman in scrubs was wearing a cape for me that day.

You likely have your own story of being “saved” by a Healthcare Hero, a committed medical professional (EMT, nurse, etc.) who went above and beyond for you. For the first time in Lynchburg Living, we are recognizing some of these hardworking men and women. After asking for nominations from the community, we selected 10 heroes to showcase in a feature that starts on page 71. Some were nominated by co-workers, others by patients. Some of their stories are fast-paced, others are more subtle. But I learned in working with this group of heroes that they all have one thing in common: a passion to provide the best and most personal care they can.

To all of the medical professionals in this area who are working hard every day without much fanfare, I thank you. We are all better, healthier—and in my case, more rested— people because you are going the extra mile.

All my best,

Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor
Shelley@lynchburgmag.com

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