One month ago, I suffered a stroke while in the emergency room at Mercy. Much to my surprise - I had been taken by ambulance to Mercy because they were reported to have the best stroke team in the city. As I later learned - they are only one of two ER teams extensively trained in stoke procedures.
Feeling somewhat confused and disoriented, a young man named Michael Lancaster greeted me and began to evaluate my condition. He asked the paramedic, accompanying me in the ambulance, several pertinent questions about her time with me and what had transpired. She gave Mr. Lancaster the information he needed to move forward quickly. The "Big One" had not yet happened but he knew I had experienced two minor strokes just 30 minutes prior.
I was immediately whisked off to CAT scan and then back to the ER. It appeared that Mr. Lancaster was at the helm of all that followed. While making decisions as to my immediate care, I had a major stroke that paralyzed my entire left side. The fear on my face must have been profound as Mr. Lancaster and his team scurried about to prepare me for the clot-busting medicine to come. Back to CAT scan, they were able to pinpoint the exact location of the blood clot that had lodged in my brain. The medication was administered - but nothing happened. All through this, I felt comforted knowing that Mr. Lancaster was taking care of me. I trusted his procedures and decisions.
Because the clot was still lodged in my brain, it was determined that I have a procedure where they would go through an artery up to my brain and eradicate the clot manually. Now I am really scared. As I was being prepped for this procedure, I spotted Mr. Lancaster and asked him to accompany me into the operating room. Looking at the many strangers moving about in preparation, I needed someone familiar with me badly. The next thing I saw was Mr. Lancaster in a mask and gown standing next to my stretcher. What a relief. Don't recall much during or following the procedure except when I realized that I could move all my body parts again. I remember wanting everyone to know about it too. I also recall one of the nurses telling another, "She's a talker."
The care I received throughout my stay at Mercy was exemplary. There were so many people involved in my care and comfort. I never felt alone or neglected. But it all began with Michael Lancaster. And, just before I was discharged, he came to see me. I was able to thank him personally for being attentive to my physical and emotional needs. He was so knowledgeable about my condition and acted without hesitation to see that I was tended to immediately.
Michael Lancaster is a professional with a heart. I will keep him in my heart forever and hope others learn by his example.