Every Month, Mary Navin Thanks Emergency Department, Police
Berlin resident Mary Navin has a heart of gold. This 73-year old is always doing good things for others, but on Oct. 25, 2013, it was all about her. She was alone at home when she suffered a pulmonary embolism that sent her into full cardiac arrest. She was able to get to the phone and call 911 before passing out. Local police officers and EMTs rushed her to Berlin Memorial Hospital.
The quick thinking and action of many contributed to saving her life. A full 32 minutes of CPR were performed, and with her critical state she was then transferred to Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh.
During a pulmonary embolism, one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked – usually by blood clots that travel to the area from the legs or another part of the body. The vast majority of people who suffer from pulmonary embolisms do not survive since they send the patient into cardiac arrest. Many people, like Navin, have no idea they have a blood clot until the artery is blocked.
“I was told that few people survive this, and if you do survive you may have serious damage or complications for life. I am so thankful to the local police, EMTs, and ER for all they did, and getting me back to health,” Navin said.
“I was on a breathing tube for seven days and after that, it was a slow recovery coming back,” said Navin, who was in the hospital for a month. After her long stay in the hospital, she was set up to do her physical therapy with Community Health Network’s rehabilitation department. “Everyone from start to finish took such good care of me.”
To show her appreciation, on the 25th of every month she brings food or baked goods to both the local police station and the Berlin Emergency Department. “I tell them I feel like they gave my life a whole new start that day so it’s kind of like a birthday. They see me coming in and say ‘It must be the 25th – happy birthday Mary!’” Navin said.
An avid baker and cook, she’s made apple pies, lasagna and more. “It’s just a little something I can do to repay the kindness they showed me and to let them know they really made a difference. They saved my life!” Navin said.
Kelly Schmude, manager of Berlin Memorial Hospital’s emergency department, said staff members are touched by Navin’s gesture. “We all love it when she comes in with her homemade goodies. We tell her we were doing our job when she was here, but it is pretty special to feel just how much she appreciated all of our efforts,” said Schmude.
“Whenever I see EMTs, the police, or ED staff, I always thank them and they are so humble and say ‘this is my job and what we do so no need to thank us,’ but as humble as they may be, they do their job very well and I just feel such a need to thank them and be grateful,” she said.
“We are so lucky to have such great medical staff at our hospital and I want them to know that. It was such a team effort from the police officers and the EMTs to the emergency room staff. I couldn’t have gotten better care anywhere else.”
Currently Navin maintains a busy volunteer schedule. Staying busy and being grateful have been key to her recovery. “I work in the garden, am active in both the Friends of the Park group and the Petal Pushers Garden Club, I sing with the Fox Valley Chorus and the Berlin Senior Singers, and I help out at the senior center doing cooking demonstrations,” she said. “I just want to keep doing what I can and will keep celebrating on the 25th as long as I can. I just love it.”
When Navin left the hospital in Oshkosh, her doctor told her not to waste her money playing the lottery, because she already hit the jackpot in the medical lottery. She had been dubbed a “walking miracle.”
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, CHN Berlin Memorial Hospital, and Wild Rose Memorial Hospital. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.