This is a thank you letter to all the persons who helped me during my recent ordeal.
At my age (secret), I was sure I had done that, seen that, and read that, but nothing prepared me for the Hollywood type chest pain (remember Red Fox in "Sandford & Son"?) I experienced around midnight two weeks ago. I was having a heart attack; my lungs started to fill with fluid and soon I could not breathe. In minutes, I was out of it.
The ambulance came quickly, considering there are no street signs leading to my home. Unfortunately, I did not get the names of the ambulance team, but I am eternally grateful to them for knowing what to do. We should all be reassured to know we are protected by competent and knowledgeable EMT'S.
My cardiologist, Dr. Roy Flood, was off island, but thanks to Dr. James Nelson and Dr. Roy L. Schneider, my primary physician, an immediate decision was made to send me to St. Croix. Why St. Croix? Because the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory is located there at the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital. I was afterwards told that Dr. Schneider, with his usual expertise, coordinated my getting to St. Croix by air ambulance and made arrangements for the cardiologists over there to receive me in the very early morning hours. Thank you Governor Schneider for making tough decisions immediately. I am glad you are on my side.
Thanks, to my family and friends, whose prayers made a difference, and again to Dr. and Mrs. Schneider, who stayed with my family until I left.
How can one thank the person who saved her life? Impossible! I don't have enough words to express it. Dr. Kendall Griffith performed a procedure known as coronary angioplasty, which opened my blocked artery. A cylindrical stent was then implanted which stays in place permanently. This young dynamic Crucian has a dream, which I'll discuss later. Thanks also to Dr. Potts and Dr. Galiber.
Thank you Anita, Luis and Greg Davila for keeping vigil with my son, John. I did not realize you were there. Also Edith Rose Galiber who visited.
I woke up two days later and finally met Dr. Griffith and the nurses who took care of me. Thanks Sharon Thomas, Paula White, Janice Harper, Marolee Harrigan, Joy Joseph, Judy James and Ronnie Emerenciana. Your pleasant attitude and smiles kept my spirits up, as well as your excellent care.
Sometimes I hear persons on one of the talk shows complaining about the hospital. Why? The facility is clean and attractive and, as I said, the service is excellent.
And now about Dr. Griffith's dream. It is his hope that one day a full service cardiac center will be located at the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital. It is also his hope that a heliport will be available on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix at the hospitals to transport patients more efficiently to the Center. Just as we have the Charlotte Kimmelman Cancer Center located on St. Thomas but serving the entire Virgin Islands, the Cardiac Center located on St. Croix will serve everyone.
I have fully supported the Cancer Center and I intend to fully support the Cardiac Center, Dr. Griffith's efforts and those of every person connected with this project. Donations may be sent to Gregory Davila, c/o Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital, 4007 Estate Diamond Ruby, St. Croix, 00821
Edith deJongh Woods
St. Thomas, VI
Editors note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess
Thank You Letter from a Heart Attack Victim
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.
Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.