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Patient Stories - Mary Dungans

As seen in Lahaina News - Letters to the Editor on May 21, 2020...

Trust Maui Memorial and Kaiser

I am writing in response to the negative press and concerns about Maui Memorial Medical Center and to tell you about my positive experience.

I was terrified when I realized I had to go to the Emergency Room - and I am sure you are, too - but don't be. If you need medical help, go; they will take good care of you.

I know this because I was in Maui Memorial from April 26 to May 3, 2020 with acute colitis and dehydration. Like everyone, I did not want to come here and waited two days too many to come. By the time I did, I was very, very sick with a gut infection, and I was nauseated and throwing up nonstop for five days straight! I could have died because of my fear.
The COVID-19 pandemic is uncharted territory for us all, including the hospital. But I can assure you that they are taking safety for their patients and staff very seriously and have implemented effective safety procedures. So, let's support our community hospital - and please use it, when needed.

This is my third stay at Maui Memorial Hospital in 20 years. Since Kaiser took over, it is so improved (from what many of us have experienced in the past) you would not believe it. The old equipment has been replaced with state-of-the-art equipment, rooms are newly painted and very clean, top-notch doctors and nurses from the Mainland are on staff, and nurses love working three 12-hour days (with four days off to be with their ohana). It is very different from the old days.

Emergency was efficient and amazing. They took me right into a bed and got me on fluids, nausea and pain meds quickly. It was determined I needed to be admitted due to infection, and the next day I had extensive testing.

After three days, I was moved to the COVID wing because I had a bronchial attack, and I was there four days until my two back-to-back COVID test results returned negative.

I was terrified to go to the COVID wing, but it was a very pleasant experience. I went from a semi-private room on the main floor to a private, totally isolated room with first-class care in the COVID wing. All staff wear three masks (N-95, regular and clear plastic face guard). Everyone wears a plastic gown that completely covers them, gloves and head protection. All staff, from doctors and nurses to aides, disinfect and redress in full gear before entering any room.

When they are done, and at the patient's door, they remove all their protective gear (except masks) in the room and secure it in a plastic bag for disposal before they walk out. They are disinfected again and redressed in complete gear and new outer mask before entering the next patient's room, and so on. Every precaution is taken. The staff feel safe and the patients should, too. I did.
In all three areas, the medical team was superior and worked as a tight-knit team. They were positive, happy, kind, knowledgeable, professional and caring, and they took care of my every need.

My doctor even gave me his cell phone number and told me to call if I needed him. At one point I did, and when I called, the doctor picked up, called me by name and handled my need within a half hour. Since then, he has texted me several times to stay in touch.
Our community needs to give Maui Memorial and Kaiser some slack to react to an unknown disease and their recent transition. They are definitely on the right track and taking actions to make Maui Memorial a first-class medical facility.

Our numbers have flattened, and our death rate percentage is one of the lowest. Our community and YOU need to use and trust them. Don't put yourself at risk due to unknown fear. They won't let you down.