University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC) continues to receive praise from patients who have been treated for COVID-19 at Charles County’s community hospital.
“All I could do was lay in the hospital bed while God dispensed all of his angels at Charles Regional to help me,” said Kim Craig, 54, White Plains resident. She described the nurses and doctors as “angels.”
Kim’s COVID journey with UM CRMC began on October 29. She had been feeling ill and decided to schedule a telemedicine appointment with her doctor earlier that week. She expressed concerns of fatigue and pressure in her head. She thought it was seasonal allergies or the flu. Her doctor ordered her to have blood work done. When those tests revealed blood sugar levels in the upper 300s, she was urged to go to the emergency room. That is where she received frightening news.
“I walked into the emergency room, and I remember seeing a chair near the front and that was as far as I could get. So I just sat there and the nurses came to me,” Kim remembers. “They checked my oxygen levels and told me that it was at 48 percent. They were amazed that I was able to walk in the hospital with such low levels, but I knew it was only by the grace of God.”
From that point on, the UM Charles Regional emergency team went right to work to see what was causing her low levels.
“We immediately put her on oxygen, checked her vitals, performed a CAT scan on her chest and tested her for COVID-19,” Emergency Department Nurse Manager Yonnia Waggoner said. “The test confirmed her condition. She was positive.”
From there, she was sent to the intensive care unit (ICU) where she remained for a week.
Kim notes that, although she wasn’t able to have family or friends by her side, she wasn’t alone.
“The nurses and doctors are all angels, but Vonda [Mayer] was a godsend,” Kim said in tears. Vonda Mayer is a Registered Nurse at the hospital.
“She let me cry when I needed to cry. She held my hand when it needed to be held. She was there and never left my side.”
Vonda says she remembers her time with Kim very well.
“When she cried out to me, I remember thinking, if it were me or if this were my mother, I would want someone to listen to me. I would want someone to be there for me. I try to keep those things in mind in my practice,” Vonda said.
Kim recalls regaining her strength day by day and says it was due to the wonderful support and encouragement she received from the UM CRMC staff. With the assistance of nurses, she performed daily breathing exercises, set daily goals for herself, and her health began to improve.
“The nurses and doctors continued to encourage me — they didn’t just let me lay there,” Kim said.
Kim began to breathe better and was finally discharged from the hospital on November 6. Today, she is at home and is doing well.
“I still have to catch my breath from time to time, but I am fine because of those angels,” Kim said. “When I heard the news that I was positive, I thought about my family. My baby brother was one of the first people to pass away in Chicago from COVID-19, and I just didn’t want to put my family through that again. But my angels at Charles Regional gave me all the tools that I needed to survive. God dispensed all of his angels in that hospital — every one of them from the guards downstairs, to the doctors and nurses in ICU. I am thankful.”