“I can honestly say I received the best care of my entire life.“

It all started on a visit to my grandchildren. Every time I took a step, it felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach.

Karen Henkenhaf, wearing a floral scarf and white denim jacket, stands outside the RVH emergency sign and smiles for a photo
Kathryn outside of RVH’s Emergency Entrance

I told myself I was overreacting, and the pain would go away. But I’d been in agony for three days, and it wasn’t getting better. My husband and I decided to go to the emergency department at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH).

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, my husband couldn’t go in with me. But I never felt alone, not even for a minute. Once the doctor had seen me, he immediately ordered a CT scan of my abdomen, and I had to wait for a couple of hours while the dye made its way through her system.

It was a busy place, like all emergency rooms. I could tell COVID-19 was making things even more challenging than usual. Even so, someone checked in on me every half hour to make sure I was doing okay or to ask if I needed anything. And even though it was the middle of the night, all the nurses and doctors were in such good spirits, and that in turn lifted the spirits of everyone around them. It was incredible to witness.

When the results of my tests came back, the doctor sat with me to explain the diagnosis. I was put on antibiotics and went home to recover.

But that wasn’t the end of their excellent care. A couple of days later, one of the nurses called me at home to ask how I was feeling. She answered the few questions I’d thought of after leaving the health centre, and then she gave me some advice regarding my diet due to my diagnosis.

There are two things I tell my friends and loved ones if they suspect something is wrong with their health. One: get it checked out right away. And two: go to RVH, because you can be certain they will take good care of you. I know that from personal experience, and I’ll be forever grateful.

Katherine Henkenhaf

I’m feeling much better these days. I can manage my condition with diet and the occasional course of antibiotics when I have a flare-up. I’m so grateful that I was quickly diagnosed, got the treatment I needed, and am back to my old self.

There are two things I tell my friends and loved ones if they suspect something is wrong with their health. One: get it checked out right away. And two: go to RVH, because you can be certain they will take good care of you. I know that from personal experience, and I’ll be forever grateful.

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