Heart Attack

When Penny Dolph woke up on February 24, 2017, it was just like any other day. Penny was participating in the annual Senior Center Chili cook-off. Unable to attend last year, she had been working for many weeks on her recipe to try and win.

The cook-off was held between 11-1 that day. As she was loading up her car after a successful event, she noticed a sharp pain in her back.

“I have had a small back injury since I was about 20 so I didn’t think anything of it.”

A few moments later, Penny was experiencing chest pain.

“I honestly thought it was just from being so tired,” added, “It was just this weird sensation of tightness but it was not too painful.”

After getting in the car and starting it, she suddenly had a tingling sensation through her left arm.

“I don’t have high blood pressure and I don’t have high cholesterol. I thought, there was no way I was having a heart attack!”

As Penny began driving back to work, she began feeling nauseous.

“I thought, ok this is strike number three, I think I better go to the Emergency Room.”

Penny testimonial

Immediately after arriving, Penny explains her symptoms to admitting and within seconds, is met with Dr. Canfield and a team of nurses.

“Everything was happening so fast. I felt like I was barely on the table and realized I had an IV in my arm, a room full of nurses, EKG and a doctor directing everyone and making sure I was ok.”

Because of Decatur County Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, admitting staff, EMS, and the nurses and doctors, Penny was able to get the emergency services she needed for her heart attack and they were able to help save her life.

This is not the only close encounter Penny and her family has had with the Emergency Room. Her daughter, Jody Coffman, had a scary experience a few years ago.

“My mother had taken me to the Walk-In Clinic on a Saturday afternoon here in town with flu-like symptoms. The doctors gave me some medicine and sent me home. Later that evening, I was in probably the worst pain I had ever been in,” Jody said.

Penny rushed her daughter to the DCMH ER and after running some tests, they determined she had appendicitis and needed to have emergency surgery.

“It was so surreal to see my daughter go through so much in such a short amount of time.”

The Emergency Department immediately called DCMH surgeon Dr. Albert Geers to explain that Jody’s appendix had burst and he needed to come in to perform surgery.

“I truly believe that if it wasn’t for the emergency staff calling Dr. Geers and the fact that it was Dr. Geers who performed the surgery, I do not think Jody would be with us today.”

“He told my mother and me that this was one of the worst cases he had ever seen. We were lucky we got to the Emergency Room when we did,” Jody added.

Penny could not thank Decatur County Memorial Hospital’s ER staff enough for everything they have done. “The care that you get here in the Emergency Room is unbelievable. I have had full confidence in the staff here since they helped my daughter and now even more with myself,” Penny commented.

“Being an employee here at the hospital, I am proud to work at DCMH and be a part of this team,” Jody added, “After experiencing first-hand an emergency for both myself and then my mother, I can’t thank the ER staff enough for everything they have done for our family,”

Penny - Decatur County