Betty's Story

Jun 6, 2019

All departments at Saint Francis-Memphis work together to create a positive experience.

A dream vacation in Hawaii came close to ending in a nightmare, but quick action and warm, caring expertise at Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis saved the day for Betty Shoup. She explains:

“My husband and I were on our way back from a wonderful vacation in Hawaii when I started to feel ill. I had a lot of abdominal pain. We got back to Memphis and I spent the night at home in northern Mississippi. Then the next day my husband took me to the ER [emergency room] at Saint Francis. It turns out I had a bleeding ulcer, which can be life-threatening.”

Betty had surgery to stop the bleeding the following day and spent five days in the hospital so she could be monitored to be sure the ulcer didn’t start bleeding again.

“My whole experience at Saint Francis was excellent — very impressive,” Betty says. “They had me out of the ER and settled into a hospital room within an hour and a half, which I thought was unheard of. Everyone worked very quickly and efficiently.

“Then, the surgeon talked to me and explained what he was going to do. It really reduces your anxiety when you understand what’s going on.”

The surgery went well and the bleeding was stopped; the problem was solved. Betty found out that the aspirin product she had been taking likely led to the bleeding ulcer. “I was sort of addicted to this pill I had been taking,” she says. “It had both aspirin and caffeine in it and I think I was really taking it more for the caffeine boost than the aspirin. I learned my lesson — I won’t do that again!”

Her husband says that he noticed she seemed to be taking antacids quite often during their Hawaiian vacation. “But I just figured we were eating too much!” Betty laughs.

During her hospital stay, Betty was impressed by how engaged the whole staff was in helping her recover and have a positive experience. “Everybody took ownership of what they were doing and kept me really well-informed about what was going on,” she notes.

“The hospitalist checked on me every day. He was very friendly, with a good bedside manner,” Betty continues. “The nurses introduced themselves at the start of their shifts and wrote my goals and expectation for the day on a white board each day. My call button was answered promptly whenever I needed something. The housekeeping staff let me know what they were going to do when they came in to clean my room. And the dietary staff explained my food options. One dietitian even went out and got something special for me when I had a special request they couldn’t fulfill.

“I can’t say enough about my stay at Saint Francis — it was excellent!”