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    Dr. Farrell - Patient Says Healing Process Includes Thanking those Who Helped Save Him

    Dr. Farrell -
    Dr. Farrell - Patient Says Healing Process Includes Thanking those Who Helped Save Him

    By trade, Dr. Farrell is a physical therapist who has helped countless patients for more than 30 years. He’s a life-saver too – literally. In 2007, he helped administer CPR to a man who collapsed on the green while golfing. However, he never envisioned himself on the flip side, but that was exactly what happened the following year when he suffered cardiac arrest while at a friend’s home in Rocklin and was whisked to Sutter Roseville Medical Center (SRMC).

    Dr. Farrell, a Danville, Calif. resident, came into the ED, where they had to start his heart two more times before they could stabilize him. From the ED he was transferred to the intensive care unit where he underwent hypothermia protocols, which is where the body temperature is cooled to preserve tissue and improve neurological outcomes in cardiac arrest patients. He was eventually moved to the telemetry unit, where caregivers continued to monitor him.

    Dr. Farrell said that he doesn’t remember those first few days, but his wife and other family members shared with him later about how impressed they were with the care at the hospital.

    “‘You wouldn’t believe how well they took care of you,’ my wife remarked to me,” Dr. Farrell said. “I know I was not the easiest patient to deal with. I know I was very agitated at times, but the staff showed so much patience.”

    Once the haze lifted, Dr. Farrell and his wife Edie talked with cardiologist Stephen Peters, M.D., who recommended surgical intervention to manage his cardiac arrhythmia. Dr. Farrell agreed and had a cardioverter-defibrillator implanted, which is programmed to detect cardiac arrhythmia and correct it by delivering a jolt of electricity.

    What followed for Dr. Farrell was a slow and steady journey toward recovery. His healing process has also given him time to reflect on the care and support he received at SRMC.

    “Those at the hospital did the best they could to help my wife and two adult daughters get answers. Staff and doctors and nurses were accessible and kept them informed,” he said. “Your staff let friends and family stay with me in my room, which really enhanced my recovery. Those people and their prayers helped get me over the hump. Plus, those at the hospital demonstrated great clinical experience, knowledge and professionalism. That is why I am so appreciative of your hospital.”

    Dr. Farrell was so appreciative of the staff’s help that he and his wife visited his caregivers in May to personally thank them. He also had the chance to visit with CEO Pat Brady, Chief Nurse Executive Barbara Nelson, R.N., and Director of Nursing Operations Joan Touloukian, R.N. During a second visit, he was able to connect with those he hadn’t seen the first time around including Randy Martin, M.D., and Debbie Ward, R.N. Dr. Farrell says that expressing thanks to those who helped keep him alive is an integral part of his healing process.

    Dr. Farrell says that he feels “100 percent normal physically” and has the test results to prove it. He underwent an echocardiogram earlier this summer and it revealed that his heart is 98 percent normal. Now, Dr. Farrell can put his heart into all the things that matter most to him, including family and friends, and volunteering with the San Ramon Fire District’s Heart Safe Community Awareness Committee to have Automated External Defibrillators, which are portable electronic devices that provide a brief electrical shock to the heart to restore its natural rhythm, in every public building; educating the public about cardiovascular disease and training as many citizens as possible in CPR/AED use.

    “That is essentially what our life mission is about now,” he said

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