Saturday, July 18, 2009

An Open Letter to the Staff at Baylor Grapevine

To Each and Everyone We Encountered Over the Past 3 Months at Baylor Grapevine,

Prior to April 24th my knowledge of hospitals and the people who worked in them was fairly extensive, if limited in its sources. What better places to learn from than St. Elsewhere, ER and Grey’s Anatomy? Basically hospital life can be summed up like this – in order to work at a hospital you must be a hard ass, you can’t let yourself care about the patients and can never show feelings. They must not be very good teachers because in every group of those doctors and nurses a few of them fight that edict and show some heart, but those are few and far between.

When Angela was admitted to Baylor Grapevine on that Friday morning for what became an 11 week odyssey for our family, my hope was for us to be very boring and not have to break the doctor and nurse code of getting them to feel for us. Because again, it seems when that happens, when patients get too close to the staff, something horrible happens.

Or at least it does to the patients that Dr. Carter and Izzie deal with.

Tuesday was the first day in 11 weeks and 2 days that Angela and I were not at your hospital, and while it was great not to be there, it was sad not to see the staff at what we now call a wonderful place.

We’d laugh when Angela would call it Hotel Baylor, but that place is better than any hotel I’ve ever been at and that is because of the staff.

I’ve been saying the last couple of weeks that if there is someone who adheres to the TV code of hospital staff conduct, we did not meet them. We never even encountered somebody who seemed to be having a bad day.

I mean no one.

We got to know almost everybody who came to the ante-partum area of floor 2 or later into the NICU on that same floor and down to the gift shop and cafeteria. Not only did we get to meet and interact with you, you got to know us and treated us with utmost respect.

I kept trying to remind myself that we aren’t special, we aren’t the only ones who have been put on hospital bed rest and then spent a few weeks in the NICU. It happens more than we think and often with more traumatic endings.

But you made us feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel and helped prevent a depression that could have very easily set in for both of us.

I apologize now because I am horrible with names, so if I don’t mention your name, hopefully you still realize how important you were to us. Here are some of things that I hope I don’t forget when I look at Angela and my boys who have all come out of this healthy as can be.

The many smiles and hello’s I received every time I walked past the desk into room 13. Desiree and Shelly talking Rangers with us and telling us stories about the outside world, Kyle talking about your sister who had triplets which is what brought you into nursing, Phoebe always telling us how great Angela is doing, Whitney making Angela smile with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day crafts, Megan’s smile as she made me feel better when I left late at night and wasn’t sure Angela was being honest about her pain. Maria making sure I had an ice tea every time she brought food and that Angela didn’t get any more yogurt.

Mama’s great burgers and cheese steaks, Rhonda and Tamara’s ability to tell us how they’ve seen it all with a smile and that Angela couldn’t be doing any better. Becky, Rhonda and Erin who each had our boys at birth and helped them through their first hours of life while repeatedly showing me how to change a diaper and not snapping at me as I kept screwing it up.

Stephanie, Rhonda, and Renee helping guide us through the last days of the NICU making sure we didn’t get too excited about them coming home early while making sure we were ready for it when it happened. The lady in the cafeteria who always asked how the boys were doing and made sure me and my dad were being taken care of properly.

I can’t say enough about Dr. Moser, Dr. Graham and Dr. Payne. It took us a bit to get used to the bam, bam style of the Dr.’s in the hospital but each one of you took the time when appropriate to make sure we understood what was going on and to assure us things were going well.

No one did that better than Dr. Clark. Angela always laughed that you seemed to come in as we were watching the Rangers and took the time to check out the score during the consults. That makes us smile, but more importantly, you took the time each and every day to answer every silly question we could think of and I’m sure we came up with a lot of them.

Tammy, Melinda, Kaley, and the daytime weekday staff. I didn’t have much experience with you since I was at work, but Angela considers each and every one of you as a friend and I’m not sure I could ask for much more than that. Having you there the day of the birth and afterwards as friends instead of staff has been a blessing that makes me damn near tear up as I think about it now.

As I made the 40 minute drive from Haslet to Baylor on a daily basis, I couldn’t help but notice on the GPS that I was passing at least 3 hospitals every time. I’m sure those are great places and we would have had a similar outcome there but I’m glad we didn’t have to find out.

Your smiles, patience, expertise, professionalism, faith and grace made our family as we know it today.

How cool is that?

On behalf of Angela, James, Michael and Ryan, I just can't thank you enough.

As Sincerely as I can be on a Blog,



  1. I speak for myself and all of my peers when I tell how that "you gave as much as you got." We were all honored to be witnesses to growing your family and we are humbled that you chose us to be a part of that incredible awe-inspiring journey. God Bless You! I don't know if you realize it yet, but you are definitely in the "Baylor Family" which means keeping us posted about how our boys are doing (that NICU and Antepartum!)

  2. Dear Angela and Bob,
    You are both very near and dear to my heart! This journey with you and your marvelous family meant a lot to me. It reminds me of God's amazing grace and awe! Angela, you will remain my inspiring "poster child for antepartum!" You were so patient and kind, and I can not remember a single time you complained about being in bed and pregnant with not one, not two, but THREE busy squirming babies! You always kept a cheerful and positive attitude, and you were nothing but a PLEASURE to care for every day! I speak for all of the antepartum nurses who were blessed enough to have you as a patient! We will miss all of you, so please send us pictures every now and then! And Bob, you will never know how special it was to me to be a part of your babies' actual birthday! And I AM tearing up thinging about it!!!

    Love you guys,

  3. Bob & Angela - What a wonderful testimony to Baylor Grapevine and their caring employees!! You had me crying and I don't even know them!

    Can't wait to meet the boys!