Gratitude Stories from The Miriam Hospital
Michelle, a very active mom, wife, and first grade teacher, was the last person anyone would suspect to have a cardiac condition – even her PCP. But the symptoms she was experiencing for a few weeks prior to that fateful date in September 2022, were symptoms of a heart condition.
When a genetic risk of sudden cardiac death became the center of Jill Marinelli’s world, she was grateful to have The Miriam Hospital and Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute to turn to, so close to home.
The Rios Family
When his 90-year-old mother complained of chest pains, Hector Rios rushed her to The Miriam Hospital. He knew she’d get the care she needed there, but says he was blown away by their rapid response and “super” healing powers. So much so, he sat down and wrote a letter of thanks to the hospital president praising his mom’s care team.
It was March 2019 and Kristen Contarino had the flu. But this bout of influenza was different.
“The vicious cough that developed shortly after was like nothing I’d ever experienced,” she recalls. “Forgive the graphic details here, but during one of the more intense coughing fits, I felt a large hard chunk of something come up.”
The something was hardened blood.
It’s safe to say that no one looks forward to surgery. But many do feel grateful looking back on the experience when it was successful and improves their health and well-being in a meaningful way. Such is the case with Herb Obodda.
They’re all amazing people at The Miriam who care deeply for the patients they work with. You can feel the love!
Over the course of a few days in June 2020, Ramon Hinds suffered not one, but two heart attacks. In both cases, the 57-year-old from Pawtucket was rushed to The Miriam Hospital and received the lifesaving care he needed. That care included the use of defibrillator paddles to deliver an electric shock to revive him.
And in the hospital’s cath lab, stents were inserted into Ramon’s clogged artery using an ultrasound-guided, balloon catheter. The successful procedure opened the artery and allowed blood to flow more freely.
Once his heart returned to proper functionality, Ramon was ready to enter the next phase of his recovery—and he counted on The Miriam for that, as well, enrolling in the hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. During the 12-week session, a team of cardiologists, registered nurses, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, behavioral health psychologists, and pharmacists focused their expertise on improving Ramon’s health.
Today, Ramon remains a regular participant in The Miriam’s Cardiopulmonary Maintenance Program and maintains close ties with the friends he’s made there. A chef and caterer who specializes in vegetarian, plant-based dishes, Ramon routinely drops off foods for the folks he calls “lifesavers.”
Ramon was so grateful for his care he wrote a heartfelt poem of appreciation to the staff while still inpatient. Reflecting back on his world-class patient experience, he says: “They’re all amazing people at The Miriam who care deeply for the patients they work with. You can feel the love!”
I am grateful for every professional who helped take care of me, from the people working in the kitchen to the cleaners, the CNAs, the nurses and doctors – they were all fantastic. My experience being sick with COVID-19 in the ICU was scary, but at the same time it moved me.
In late February 2020, after coming home from chaperoning a high school class trip to Europe, Marc Thibault started experiencing shortness of breath and fatigue. Days later, with his condition worsening, the then 48-year-old followed a gut feeling that told him to go to The Miriam Hospital. There, Marc tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first patient diagnosed and treated for the disease in Rhode Island. Close to death and fighting for every breath, he was soon put on mechanical ventilation.
Eventually, Marc turned a corner and was well enough to have the ventilation tube removed. He ended up spending weeks recovering in the ICU before he was well enough to return to his home in Coventry. He vividly remembers how scary it was to be so critically ill – especially at a time when the medical community’s understanding of the virus was still evolving. Now recovered, Marc also looks back on his experience with immense gratitude. For the nurse who took the time to shave his beard in full PPE. For the courageous cleaning staff who entered his room when he knew it was the last place anyone would want to be. And for his team of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists, who worked tirelessly to help him beat the disease.
I hope I never need The Miriam again. But if I do, I know I’ll be in good hands. That’s for sure!
It was mid-August 2021, and Eileen Ameen of North Attleborough, Massachusetts, was experiencing terrible pain in her right side. A trip to The Miriam Hospital’s emergency department and a follow-up MRI revealed that she had an infected, inflamed gallbladder and significant duct blockage. Her doctors determined that the best course of action was to remove Eileen’s gallbladder—and quickly.
Gallbladder removal, while common, is still major surgery, and there are risks and potential complications associated with the procedure. Fortunately, for Eileen, David R. Cloutier, MD, general surgeon at The Miriam and the hospital’s chief of surgical quality, performed her laparoscopic cholecystectomy, and everything went according to plan.
During her eight-day stay at The Miriam, Eileen witnessed a world-class medical team in action. The experience, she says, was eye-opening and left her abundantly grateful and thankful that such care is availabel right here in our community.
“You’re treated with such dignity and respect at The Miriam,” Eileen says. “I don’t know of too many places beyond this hospital where you can have such skilled, compassionate people checking in on you and making sure you’re ok. The doctors, nurses, techs, support staff...everyone was so wonderful.”