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COVID-19 puts Mulvane retiree in the hospital

Except for a few bouts with pneumonia, Vivian Hughbanks has been in pretty good health for most of her life. And for the most part, says the retired Boeing inspector, she's kept it that way without the intervention of doctors and hospitals.
 
So when she began feeling weak and short of breath a few weeks ago, the 70-year-old Mulvane, Kansas, resident tried to tough her way through it.
 
"My husband, Mike, kept saying, 'Do I need to take you to the hospital?'" to which she kept replying, "No."
 
But when her breathing became labored over the weekend, he told her, "If you're not better by Monday, you are going to the hospital."
 
She wasn't and so he brought her to the Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, where she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia.
 
"I don't like to go to doctors, so I probably waited longer than I should have," says Vivian, whose oxygen saturation was extremely low when she arrived. She is now recovering in the medical-surgical unit at St. Francis that's been dedicated to caring for patients battling COVID.
 
While eager to go home, as she got to do two days later, it was not for a lack of attention.
 
"I am getting unbelievably excellent care," Vivian reported the night before her discharge from the hospital. "I am shocked by how nice the nurses are."
 
While it has been many years since she's been in a hospital, their attentiveness to her needs caught her off guard.
 
"You just don't expect every one that you come in contact with to be so pleasant. One or two, maybe, but everyone?" says Vivian, adding that the care she has received from nurses Jessica Smith and Michelle Shephard and hospitalist Shauna Kern, DO, has been exceptional.
 
Says Jennifer Rogers, the unit's nurse manager: "Our team's kindness may have come as a surprise to Mrs. Hughbanks, but it's certainly no surprise to me. We've assembled a team to care for patients battling COVID whose expertise is only surpassed by their compassion for, and commitment to, their patients.
 
"That said, it's always wonderful to hear."
 
PHOTO: Jessica Smith, RN, one of the nurses who cared for Vivian, in Personal Protective Equipment on the COVID-19 unit at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis. 
About Roz Hutchinson

Roz Hutchinson is a Wichita wife, mother and chief spoiler of six grandkids and three Chihuahuas, a die-hard women's basketball fan, and director of Communications and Public Relations for Ascension Via Christi.