Carol Monroe: Patient

Carol MonroeCarol Monroe, 71, has resided in Charlotte for 34 years, ever since she moved here after her marriage to Leon in 1979. They have lived in the same house built by Josephine and Gerald Johnson, owners of local business, Johnson Lumber.

“I grew up in Detroit,” Carol said. “I had always wanted to live in a small town.”

Carol is ingrained in the community and likes to keep busy by staying involved. She helped get Eaton Clothing and Furniture Center off the ground and has worked with the organization in some capacity ever since. She is also very involved with the First Congregational Church in Charlotte and its community activities. Not much has slowed Carol down until health issues forced her to take an unplanned rest in 2012.

“Up until then, I had been pretty healthy,” Carol said. “There were normal things that came up but nothing like what I faced when I had to have emergency gallbladder surgery.”

Carol had just moved her mother, who was 101 at the time, to Sensations, a local memory care residence. She wanted her close-by to more easily help with her care. That nearness worked in her favor when Carol wasn’t feeling well one late October evening, but refused to go to the emergency department. Leon was almost relieved when they received a call that Carol’s mother had been taken to Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital to be treated for pneumonia.

Carol’s mother was admitted to HGB that evening. Carol did go to the emergency department and went home with gallbladder surgery scheduled for early the following week. However, Dr. Hugh Lindsey, HGB chief medical officer and Carol’s surgeon, took one look at her the next day and decided to perform surgery immediately. It turns out Carol had a large gallstone and her gallbladder was infected.

“I ended up being admitted and had a room right down the hall from my mother,” Carol said.

She was so impressed by the personal care she and her mother received that Carol took all the names of those who cared for them, from pre-op to the team on the floor, and returned later with “goody bags” full of chocolate and treats for each person.

“The staff provided real TLC – it’s that personal feeling that everyone cares,” Carol said. “No matter what I asked for, they went out of their way to provide, including the housekeeping and café staff. I had some strict diet restrictions due to allergies and health concerns. When I mentioned I liked pears, they pureed some just for me because I was still only on liquids. And continued to do that until I could eat more solid food. Even the chairs in the rooms were marvelous.”

The housekeepers would stop by to chat with Carol when she wasn’t able to sleep at night. “Everyone was really kind, and so personal and professional; the care was just outstanding,” Carol said.

“And it’s not just what I experienced inside the hospital,” Carol said. “I had car trouble one day and the EMS paramedics who were nearby didn’t hesitate to offer their assistance and jumped my battery.”

Because she lives in the Charlotte community, Carol also appreciates that she is familiar with many of the HGB staff and volunteers. But she would quickly recommend the hospital for its personal care to her mid-Michigan family and friends, even if they live outside Charlotte.