Hamilton Terrell III had been dealing all day with some soreness in his mouth when he experienced an unexpected surge of pain so intense that he couldn’t speak. He and his mom, Ruth Lee, soon discovered a large knot on the inside of his mouth and knew he needed to get help fast. New to north St. Louis County, they recalled driving by Christian Hospital and knew it was close by. Their recent visit to Christian Hospital’s emergency department that early morning was refreshingly different from all prior experiences at other hospitals.
“I will just tell you that as the mother of three athletes, I don’t care what hospital you go to or what time of day, it’s always long waits and cold a lot of times – and never customer-service oriented,” says Ruth. “We’ve had broken legs, sprained arms, and I mean I’ve been to the hospital a lot in the past with my boys.” But all those experiences and notions changed for them thanks to the Christian Hospital emergency department care team.
“My son was in such pain, and he literally could not speak,” recalls Ruth. “When we got to the hospital, the gentleman who greeted us had us take a seat and noticed my son was not doing well, and within a few minutes he personally escorted us into the area for care. As soon as we walked in everyone jumped up to take care of my son and they were asking me questions and giving him empathy – I mean like they really cared about him!”
Within minutes it was determined Hamilton had an abscess in his mouth and needed to get an antibiotic in his system, as well as something to relieve his pain. Ruth recalls how the care team moved quickly and calmly while compassionately caring for her son and others simultaneously in need nearby.
“I want to say within 15 minutes he was out of pain and talking with the doctors and nurses,” says Ruth. “A nurse practitioner came by and checked-in on him what seemed like every two to three minutes asking, ‘Are you okay?’ or ‘How’s your pain?’ They were very comforting and extremely attentive, and it was fast – they really did everything they needed to do, and we were out of there in under two hours!”
“What impressed me the most about my visit was how quickly the staff was able to address me and the injury I had going on,” says Hamilton. “The care team was great and everybody that came in contact with me was much reassuring.”
“We received exemplary service – I don’t think I’ve ever received that type of service from a hospital – truly ever,” declares Ruth. “Most importantly, everyone was extremely attentive to my son.”