It was interesting to read some of the comments of the critics that followed the media reports of the excellent treatment received by Surrey Mayor Diane Watts following her fall from a horse while holidaying recently in the Kamloops region.
Although tests eventually showed Mayor Watts did not need surgery, according to some public comments, she had received immediate attention not available to the “ordinary person” on her arrival by ambulance at Royal Inland Hospital. She went to the head of the line because she was an important person.
However, I can tell you there is no selective treatment in these kinds of cases.
My daughter Kathy, who is only very important to her family, also received the very best of care following her accident in which both her legs (and knees) were broken, one leg was shattered.
It was also a “horse accident,” she was thrown from the buggy into which she had been training a horse that spooked and ran away with her.
Her accident happened in a remote area away out in the field near her home on Green Lake Road near Watch Lake in the Cariboo. With her at the time was a 14 year old girl who should receive a medal for bravery and cool headedness.
There is no cell phone coverage there. She had to run a distance to the house to call for and give directions for an ambulance, then bring blankets to the patient while her older sister tended to the frightened horse now tangled with the buggy in the trees.
Within 10 minutes, a First Responders team from nearby arrived, made Kathy as comfortable as they could and prepared for the ambulance to arrive from 100 Mile House.
At 100 Mile Hospital x-rays were taken and before 5 a.m., she was loaded into the ambulance again, went through Cache Creek at 6 a.m. and was at Royal Inland Hospital shortly after 7 a.m.
By 9 a.m. she was prepped and lined up for surgery from which she emerged at 11 p.m.
The orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Beaton, was in there all that time, painstakingly mending the fragmented bones so that his patient might be able to walk again someday.
I am sure he never asked how important she was, he was working on a patient who was depending on his expertise to repair the damage.
When he emerged after his exhausting day, he still took time to talk to the worried family members and informed us she would have to return for some bone grafting as some pieces were missing.
In a few days, she was sent home and within two weeks, she received a call at 10 o’clock at night from Dr. Beaton to let her know he wanted her in surgery in RIH for her bone grafts by 8:30 the next morning.
As an ordinary person, in her desperate situation, she went to the front of the line for treatment and received care above and beyond from Dr. Beaton and RIH staff.
Despite our concerns about the quality of rural health care, the excellent care is obviously there when it is needed, not only for important people like Mayor Watts but for ordinary people like Kathy as well.
And that is very comforting to know.