Comanche County Memorial Hospital is busy taking care of COVID patients. However, they continue to take care of all patients’ healthcare needs. One family’s loved one has been in the hospital for months and has experienced just how dedicated the medical staff remains during these difficult times.
When we talked to Joe Pantoja, his wife, Beatrice, was in the ICU. She’s been in and out of the ICU since October 20th.
“She came over here as a very sick person,” Joe said. “And they work with her and operate on her.”
Joe said it started with pneumonia, but while they were at CCMH, her kidneys failed and she needed dialysis.
He said then in December, his wife’s heart stopped, and that’s when nurses jumped into action and brought her back to life.
“Like within the hour, she was back to normal,” he said.
Seeing his wife of 56 years in that state wasn’t easy because she means so much to him.
“She does,” Joe said. “She means the whole world, and I’m glad they brought her back to life. I appreciate what they do.”
Joe has spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day at the hospital by his wife’s side.
“We didn’t hardly have an issue with it because we were together here, and some of the family members were together here,” Joe said. “It wasn’t a real sad thing. We were happy.”
Since they’ve been at CCMH for months, he’s gotten to know the staff well, from them asking about how she’s doing when they meet in the hallway to taking care of her.
“I always tell them that ‘Hey, I believe you are angels on heaven’. ‘Oh sir, thank you very much.’ And I believe they are,” he said. “They’ve got skills, and they use them, and they’re professionals.”
Chris Ward, Chief Nursing Officer at CCMH, said he’s proud of the nurses.
“They’re here serving the community,” Ward said. “And your wife is one of those people out of literally hundreds that they serve every year, and so thank you very much for your compliments.”
Joe said the nurses who give her medicine talk to her and tell her what they’re giving her.
“They ask her, ‘Mrs. Pantoja, we are going to give you’…and they name the medicine, and she’ll go like ok.”
Right now, Beatrice isn’t able to communicate with words, but she can move some of her body and can shake her head to answer yes or no. Joe said Beatrice can also wiggle her fingers when trying to say goodbye.
“We have some physical therapy ladies that’s come off and on and work with her on moving her arms and her legs,” he said. “So that’s awesome.”
Joe said after she’s discharged from the hospital, she’ll have to go through rehab.