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When Molly Gruber’s daughter called her from Washington Middle School one day and said that she was sick, Molly brushed it off as a mild stomach bug.
“She was having lots of stomach bug symptoms and I kept telling her it’s just a stomach bug, it will pass,” said Molly.
But the symptoms did not pass, so at 4 a.m. she took her 13-year-old daughter, Megan, to the emergency room at Fayette County Memorial Hospital in Washington Court House.
“I was worried at the ER they would ask why we were there for classic stomach bug symptoms,” said Molly, but no one questioned Megan’s symptoms. “Within a very short amount of time she was having tests run and IV’s and all kinds of things.”
ER doctors determined Megan had appendicitis and needed to have emergency surgery.
“Dr. (William) Stevenson was called in really quickly,” said Molly. Without an emergency surgery, there was a chance Megan’s appendix could burst. “Dr. Stevenson was just so wonderful. He was really thorough with us at the bedside as far as explaining what was going to happen in the surgery, possible complications and best and worse case scenarios. They had put us in a medical surgery room so that we would be more comfortable because they knew that we were going to be staying. The two surgical nurses had come in and spoken with me. I knew them on a personal basis and it was so comforting to know that there were people in there who knew her and I was just not treated like a routine patient at all. It was wonderful.”
Megan said she was nervous about having an emergency surgery.
“I was afraid that it wasn’t just going to be appendicitis, I was afraid there was going to be something really wrong with me,” said Megan. “I was like, maybe I have some sort of tumor or something, I don’t know. I mean, that’s what they do in the movies. But when I found out that it was what I thought it was, I was like, okay,” said Megan.
To ease the family’s fears, Molly called her mother, who had once worked as a nurse at FCMH and knew Dr. Stevenson.
“I said, ‘Mom, what do you think? Do you think we should take her to another hospital? She said, ‘We’re talking about my granddaughter here and I’m telling you, you’re in the best hands that there are. It was very comforting and I trusted Dr. Stevenson with, literally, my life,” said Molly.
“She said Dr. Stevenson does good work and said I would be fine. I was like, alright, so I wasn’t as scared then,” said Megan.
Dr. Stevenson said Megan’s appendix was “pretty bad.” At around 9 a.m. that same morning, Megan went into surgery for a couple of hours.
“We were very nervous,” said Molly about her daughter’s emergency surgery. “But when she got out of surgery, Vanessa was her medical surgery nurse and she treated her like a porcelain doll, just waited on her hand and foot, and she had a very quick recovery and we had no complications.”
Megan’s appendix never ruptured and all she has to show for it are two tiny incisions.
“I’m grateful for the service. Every step of the way they kept us informed — those minutes felt like hours when she was in surgery. I am just so thankful, from triage clear to discharge. It was a flawless experience and we are very happy,” said Molly.
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton