“Going from employee to patient made me realize how critical Speare is to our community,” says Pat.
It was a wild three months. Life changing. It all began last November 7th, when Pat Nestor went to bed coughing, wheezing, and feeling nauseated.
Pat and his wife of 36 years, Linda, both work at Speare Memorial Hospital. He is an interface analyst in the IT department and she is the director of radiology. Linda was heading out the door for work early the next morning when her son came down the stairs with Pat in his arms. They rushed to Speare.
Pat was promptly admitted to the hospital. It was determined he had pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome; a severe lung condition with a 30-50% fatality rate. Pat knew these numbers. But you can’t keep a twenty-year air force veteran down.
“I was beat and running on no lungs,” says Pat. “They put me on a ventilator and antibiotics, but when I didn’t respond after a few days they sent me to Concord Hospital. It’s wonderful that we have these partnerships with other medical centers.”
Speare partners with Concord Hospital so that patients like Pat, requiring a Level I Trauma Center can be transferred swiftly and safely.
Once stabilized, Pat returned to Speare barely able to stand with a walker, for what he calls “the hard work”. This included inpatient rehab focusing on regaining physical and cognitive function. Pat thought he could handle anything and bounce back. But this was the biggest fight of his life.
“It was critical to have Speare’s team re-orient me and talk me through the ugly times in order for me to think like a normal human being again,” says Pat. “I would never have bounced back as quickly if it weren’t for the phenomenal knowledge of the people here.”
Pat returned home on December 23rd and remarkably, was back at work on January 13th.
“I know that my job is important, but I now realize that the most important thing we can do at Speare is to continue providing our talented medical team with whatever tools they need to help patients,” says Pat. “It’s all about the patients and the people who directly interact with them.
“I’ve found a little way to say thanks to some of the people who saved me.”
When Pat is in the hospital cafeteria and sees one of the extraordinary people who brought him back to life, he insists on buying them lunch.
“You don’t have to do that,” they say.
“I know I don’t…but I do,” says Pat with a smile.