Dramatic Recovery From Stroke Fight for a Mother’s Life Florence is a 69 year old woman who survived a stroke (massive cerebral bleed), both surgical and diagnostic errors, pneumonia and pharmaceutical overloading, and emerged drugged but with a spark of her former self still intact. Then…she and her family were told that she would not get any better and must now move to a skilled nursing facility for the rest of her life because she was being tube-fed, had bedsores, and was incontinent. The family was told she would never go home, never walk again. The family heard of the successes of independent RN Patient Advocates (iRNPAs). Working with an iRNPA and the physicians and therapists on the team she assembled, Florence has been able to get off most of her drugs (she “woke up”), take rigorous PT and not only get out of her chair, but has been able to start walking independently. Following cognitive therapy, Florence now can socialize again, and has been able to go home. She flies around the country again, visiting grandchildren, and is rebuilding her life. Her family is very grateful to the iRNPA program, which they consider to have saved Florence’s life. Florence N. Chicago, Illinois.
Mystery Illness Resolved Phil is a 63-year-old CPA who had devastating black ulcerations devouring both thighs, poorly controlled diabetes and diabetic ulcers, suffering from poor nutrition and very poor pain control. His physicians were arguing about the diagnosis and Phil’s legs continued to deteriorate, actually disappearing – painfully. He sat at home in the dark, in great pain, unable to walk, being transported from doctor to doctor looking for answers. Phil had seven doctors. Phil engaged an iRNPA who immediately arranged an appointment at the Mayo Clinic for diagnosis of his “mystery illness” and a treatment plan was developed. His iRNPA implemented the treatment plan in his hometown and established a therapeutic team to address his other health issues. Working collaboratively with all Phil’s physicians, his iRNPA arranged for a nutritionist to establish an individualized eating plan and get his diabetes under control, pain control specialists to bring his pain level down, home health nursing to implement the hands-on physical treatment, and physical therapy to get him back on his feet. Phil recovered, the wounds healed, both pain and diabetes were under control, he became mobile once again and was able to resume his CPA practice. - Phil W., Tucson, Arizona.
Reversing Fibromyalgia Eva is a 37 year old high school biology teacher, diagnosed with fibromyalgia and crippled by headaches that were not responding to therapy, covered with cysts, suffering with systemic yeast infections and multiple allergies, suffering from poor nutrition with significant GI problems and obesity. She was also heavily and unsuccessfully medicated. Eva and her family were desperate for a solution and discovered the wide range of iRNPA services. Her iRNPA researched physicians skilled in the Functional Medicine Chronic Care Model to address the multiple chronic conditions she had. Eva’s iRNPA was able to assemble a treatment team of physicians who did advanced diagnostic and treatment work, therapists to address the nutritional and GI issues as well as her headaches, and nutritionists to plan her individualized eating plan. Within a year, the fibromyalgia was reversed, the cysts were largely gone, the GI disorder resolved and the allergies were under control. Eva has been able to return to teaching and a life not directed by pain and illness. - Eva R., Yuma, Arizona.
Hospital Safety Oversight During a prolonged hospitalization and subsequent rehabilitation I experienced firsthand the mental relief and comfort of having a Nurse Advocate looking after my overall interests. My Advocate was tactful, but assertive in dealing with the myriad of physicians and consultants as well as ancillary providers while she assured all orders were being followed and all treatments were being given. My family was totally dependent upon her knowledge of the medical environment, which they did not understand, and relied on her liaison and explanation of the care I was receiving. And I have a complete record of all lab work, x-rays and operative reports/hospitalization documentation to show doctors at my follow-up office visits. - Donna Allen, Tucson, AZ
End of Life Guidance I was blessed when I call Senior Friends on Sept. 8. The referred me to an RN Patient Advocate. I only wished that I would have called them sooner. I would not have gone through so much stress. My Advocate really jumped hoops and did all the things that I could not have done, or ever thought of. I had gone through so much with my Dad being sick. Everything was a nightmare. I just want her to know that I think she is excellent. When anyone is going through what I did, I definitely will have them call an RN Patient Advocate. - Judy Morgan, Tucson, AZ.
Nursing Home Safety Net I requested that an RN Patient Advocate assist in my care/oversight of my Aunt while I was out of town. As an RN with 28 years experience, I have a certain standard I expect from caregivers; these were sorely lacking in her current setting. My RN Patient Advocate had experice with legal nursing/healthc are issues and was a Godsend during this stressful time. With her help, my Aunt received appropriate care, was monitored on a daily basis and was relocated to another home. Thank you so much. RN Patient Advocates fill an important niche that has been lost in our impersonal, high-tech/low touch health care system. - Karen Brown, RN, PhD
Safety Through Surgical Journey RN Patient Advocates helped me through every phase of a recent surgery, made the entire process less frightening and less uncomfortable, and got me back to work in half of the expected time. My RN Patient Advocate educated me about my disease, my treatment options, and choosing a surgeon and a hospital. Her simple advice on how I could help myself recover after the surgery, and her monitoring and minimizing medications, helped me back to full recovery much faster and easier than I could have imagined. I can’t thank her enough. - Jan Flanagan/The Flanagan CPA Group
Emergency Care Safety Net Thanks to our RN Patient Advocate for being on top of things for me with a family medical emergency. Her wisdom and calming influence provided peace of mind and saved us from the time and expense of needless medical procedures. - Gail Holan/Curves Graphic Design
Saving Lives It is important to recognize and commend the very professional and compassionate help that our RN Patient Advocate provided for our mutual patient, DA. This patient sustained a rupture of a colon. Her surgical treatment did not immediately resolve the problem and she developed fistulae, peritonitis and septicemia.
When the RN Patient Advocate, asked to see her because of fragmentation in her care, first saw her she was seriously ill and death seemed imminent. Her intercession with the physicians, nurses and paramedical personnel was persistent, yet impressively diplomatic and professional. Her efforts resulted in a much more coordinated and rational treatment program and improved communication between all caregivers. My conviction is that she quite literally saved this patient’s life.
This new service of an RN Patient Advocate is quite obviously greatly needed in today’s medical milieu. - J.G. McGregor, MD
Safety Through Surgical Journey I wish to express my appreciation for the outstanding job that my RN Patient Advocate did when I underwent a lumbar laminectomy. She did an outstanding job of briefing us on every aspect of my condition, how to prepare for the hospital experience and how to best insure a favorable recovery. She was at the hospital before, during and after the surgery, blended in effortlessly and professionally with the hospital staff and was a constant source of guidance and reassurance for my wife throughout. I unhesitatingly recommend the services of an RN Patient Advocate to anyone. Given the way hospital medicine is practiced these days, I personally believe that RN Patient Advocates are on the cutting edge of an emerging and much needed business. I’d be delighted to relay my experience and my belief in what you do to anyone whom you might have contact me. - Joel Nixon, Tucson, AZ.