On Sunday July 14, 2013, Goshen resident, Shanta Sweet, was admitted to the Emergency Room at Orange Regional Medical Center after being involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. She doesn’t remember much of what happened while inside in the Emergency Room but she does recall a friendly voice. It was one of the nurses and, ironically, Shanta knew her from the high school they both attended. Immediately Shanta took comfort.
After extensive surgery on her legs, Shanta started the first phase of her recovery in The Bone and Joint Center..
“It was here that my surgeon and emergency medicine physician came to check on me daily. The Bone & Joint Center is also where I met the most exceptional nurse, Bonnie-Jo Graziano. This nurse took care of me every day and made me feel as if I were a part of her own family,” Shanta explained. Due to Bonnie-Jo’s support and encouragement, Shanta stood again for the first time. “On that day,” she said, “I remember I was in so much pain, I was just about to give up.”
“This nurse really went the extra mile and believed in me, even when I couldn’t believe in myself.”
After 2 weeks, Shanta was transferred and continued her recovery in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Orange Regional, where her physicians continued to visit, as did Nurse, Bonnie-Jo.
“It was in rehabilitation that I learned to live again.”
“I was also introduced to a new team of caregivers,” Shanta explained. “My new physician, Vincent Gulfo, MD, Medical Director, Rehabilitation Medicine, checked in on me and talked to me every day. He really took an interest in seeing that I got to where I needed to be.” Shanta had to start from the beginning with many activities, including learning to walk, shower and even dress herself. “My Occupational Therapist was key in helping me learn to function independently again,” she said. Shanta also met a very special Physical Therapist, Lucy “Luz” Ricardo, in Rehabilitation. “It was because of Lucy’s care and persistence that I took my first steps,” she said. “I thought it was painful just to stand; I had no idea how painful it was going to be to try to walk. But with just the right amount of pushing and guidance, I did walk again.”
“My exceptional care didn’t end there…”
Shanta recalled exceptional care in every department she interacted with. “Pastoral Care came around on several occasions to see how I was doing and to pray for me and Food Service became familiar with my preferences.”
“They took consideration of the fact that I was a late sleeper and were mindful not to wake me with early morning meal deliveries.”
Housekeeping not only cleaned her room but also talked to Shanta about the exotic flowers she kept in her room during recovery.
“It was nice to have a normal conversation that had nothing to do with my recovery.”
The experience overall, Shanta explained, was well-rounded. Case Management assisted with her paperwork and insurance needs. Diagnostic Imaging was patient and accommodating while taking her X-rays. The nurses, nursing assistants and volunteers all showed her such great care.
…this was no easy feat for a 34-year-old woman used to living independently. Shanta felt that she was able to focus solely on her recovery because the staff at Orange Regional took care of all her needs during the 6-week recovery period.
“What I went through was the most traumatic and painful experience of my life. However, I am thankful to say that when I reflect back upon the experience,