Ventilator Patient Spotlight

Ten years ago, when Hugh Wilson was diagnosed with cancer, he and his wife, Debbie were prepared to fight. After years of chemotherapy and radiation, Hugh was doing well by all accounts – until this past March. At that time, because of the long-term effects radiation had on Hugh’s esophagus, it was determined he needed a feeding tube.

Being from Atlanta, Hugh and Debbie checked into a facility in the city for the procedure and ended up being there for about 2 ½ weeks. In the rehabilitation center in Atlanta, Hugh developed a serious infection landing him in the ICU and rendering him in need of additional care. It was determined that Hugh, 78, was too weak to go back home, but needed a long-term ventilation care facility.

Debbie did her research and after reading reviews in US News & World Report and state inspection records in Georgia, she determined Miller County Hospital and Miller Nursing Home’s long-term ventilation care program was the only place she would trust with Hugh’s care.

The first phase of Hugh’s journey to reach his goal of returning home with his wife began in Miller County Hospital’s swing bed unit. All of the Miller County Hospital staff involved in Hugh’s rehabilitation meet weekly to discuss his individualized plan of care. Hugh’s wife, along with any family members, are involved in this meeting – their input is valued and respected by the whole team; these meetings take place for all patients as part of their care.

If any of our ventilator patients or ventilator/dialysis patients do not have returning home as their goal, they will most likely be transferred to Miller Nursing Home, which is attached to the hospital by a secure hallway. This unique physical feature makes the transition of care much easier for the patient. At Miller Nursing Home, the ventilator patients will have the same level of care provided by expertly trained physical, occupational and speech therapists; respiratory therapists, and nursing staff. In fact, some of the very same staff who provide treatment in the hospital are part of the ventilator care team at Miller Nursing Home. The care team has established an excellent process to ensure continuity of care at these two facilities.

“Hugh’s care has been unbelievable here at Miller County Hospital,” says Debbie. “We have no regrets at all. People in this hospital display kindness and care nothing like I’ve ever experienced.”

Though Miller County’s facilities happen to be located in a more rural part of the state, Debbie says there is nothing even close to comparable as far as the kindness, attention to detail, and overall care Hugh receives anywhere in the Atlanta area. She attributes a lot of this to Hugh’s physician, Dr. Garrett Bennett.

“Dr. Bennet comes around with his PA and spends as much time with you as you need and want,” continues Debbie. “He is personable and an excellent doctor.”

Debbie also commends the physical therapy staff as well as the dieticians. “The dieticians work carefully with Hugh’s dietary needs – you couldn’t as for anything more. And the physical therapy he receives is excellent. This place is his best shot.”

If you or your loved one are in need of a long-term ventilation care facility, we welcome you to contact us for a tour to experience for yourself the satisfaction that the Wilsons have found at our facility. Call 229.758.4229 to speak to our Admissions Counselor or learn more here.