It was a cool but dry November morning when Joanne McDiarmid stepped outside to take on one of the routine homeowner chores she had done for over 30 years, cleaning the gutters. “I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient,” said Joanne. “I do my own raking, snow blowing and shoveling, and even chase the dog – and I have never had a problem.”
No sooner had McDiarmid reached the top step of the ladder, when it slipped and she fell 14 feet to the hard wooden deck.
"I had a lot of thoughts when I was lying on the deck, but the first thing that came to mind was how instantaneous and excruciating the pain from my fall was,” said Joanne. Once I composed myself and got to a sitting position I tried to reach the railing to get up, but I couldn’t. It was then that I realized that I had also hit my head and that I had blood running down my face.”
“I don’t usually have my cell phone on me when I do chores but for some reason that morning I had it in my pocket,” she said. Joanne quickly called 911. Within moments the Palmer ambulance arrived and she was brought to the Baystate Wing Hospital Emergency Department.
“Thinking back, I was in so much pain and afraid, the events of that day are somewhat of a blur,” said Joanne. “What I do remember is how kind and compassionate the team in the Baystate Wing Hospital Emergency Department was to me while they cared for me.”
“When I needed X-rays, the radiology team came to me, rather than have me go to the radiology department,” said Joanne. “When it was determined that I needed a CT scan I was able to get that test right in the emergency department as well and the CT technicians were so careful and gentle when they moved me for the test.”
Joanne had broken her left arm near her shoulder in three places, her left wrist in two places, and had a broken rib. “I needed stiches to my head too,” she said.
“I’m thankful for the kindheartedness and the caring of the staff that comforted me and took the extra time to explain what they were doing and why they were going to do it,” said Joanne.
Joanne was admitted to the Medical/Surgical floor at Baystate Wing Hospital and cared for by Dr. Robert Campbell, orthopedic surgeon, as well as the inpatient team. “The care I received as an inpatient mirrored the care I received in the Baystate Wing Emergency Department, everyone that cared for me was just outstanding.”
Joanne was discharged to recuperate at home with the help of her son Lucas, some close friends, and visits with the physical therapy team at Baystate Wing.
"An illness, accident or an injury can happen to anyone and without warning," said Dr. Robert Spence, chief of emergency medicine for Baystate Wing Hospital and Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center. "Our community members throughout the region can expect our emergency department team will provide them with the same outstanding acute care that Joanne received."
“The emergency department at Baystate Wing Hospital is a godsend,” said Joanne. Not only is it close to home, but the brand new space is private and the rooms are bright and filled with natural light and the most caring compassionate team of emergency care providers.
“While recuperating is a journey and it isn’t as quick and easy as I had hoped, I’m looking forward to spring and being able to move my arm above my head; planting my garden; preparing meals and mostly being able to play with and walk my beloved black lab, Molly Malone!”
Learn more about emergency care at Baystate Wing Hospital.