The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…..Fanny Fern (1811-1872)
This proverbial saying may hold some truth and some may swear by it. However, UTMC knows there’s more than one way to reach a man’s heart. Just ask Eugene Goolsby, a widower for for 25 years. He has been a patient here in/out for the last year and most recently inpatient for the last month. The cancer in his stomach/esophagus prevented him from eating and swallowing. However, his spirits remained high, because his heart has been touched by those who went above and beyond their call of duty to care for him. To name a few: 4AB staff, especially, Vernon, Louise, Glory, Holly, Tami, Chris and Chris K. the Director, who wanted any problems reported to him; then there was Dorothy from 4CD; Harry, HVC; Cath Lab; Dr. Skeel, Dr. Alynbiawi, Dr. Finney, Dr. Mohammed and her staff, Dr. Selman, Dr. Rees, Dr. Hinch, Dr. Foster and Dr. Cooper, ER staff, PARU, Michelle Ward, SICU, Phyllis Henderson and then there was the Transport, Dietary, Lab and Housekeeping personnel that all rounded out his care. When discussing his plan of care he was asked, if he understood that he would not be able to return home because of the extensive care that he needed, he said he understood and if it was alright with everyone he wanted to stay right where he was or in any room on the 4th floor. What a testimony to the care and attention he has received here at UTMC.
Mr. Goolsby has seen the many changes of this hospital (the ER, Main Lobby, uniforms, the reduction in staff, etc.) Yet, each and every time he walk through the doors he never experience a change in the personal care and attention he was given. He liked the fact that he was treated with respect. Something very important to a man who was one of the first black marines during World War II in 1943 and faced discrimination. UTMC is one of places that he can honestly say “those folks know how to treat you”. Many times during his last stay, the staff tried to get him to eat or drink, when that failed, they all lent an ear to hear one of his many stories. Their personal interest in him is what touched his heart and the hearts of his family.
After accepting the fact that he could not stay at UTMC, Eugene was discharged on August 9th. The following day, my siblings and I met with the folks from Hospice. I no longer let my dad see the frustration on my face when he says “he doesn’t want to eat or drink”, instead I listen to his stories, knowing that sometimes a way to a man’s heart is not just through his stomach. I am very proud of my dad and very proud to be a part of the UTMC family. If you have been extended kindness by someone in the UTMC family, let them know. They no doubt will tell you, like the humble folks I mentioned, that “they’re just doing their job”, but let them know…..that a fine job they did!!!