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"Emergency Treatment and Hospital Admission"

About: Esperance Health Campus / Emergency Department

(as a relative),

Earlier this year, my husband was transported from the Radiance of the Seas due to severe stomach pain. An ambulance met him once the tender docked and took him to Esperance Hospital. A volunteer from the town in an SUV gathered up our luggage and me, stopped at a local motel and made arrangements for me to have a room for five days, dropped off the luggage and then took me to the hospital to be with my husband. He was seen by Dr. Louise who ordered a CT scan and admitted him to the hospital. The CT scan showed a blockage in his intestines and other tests indicated he may have been suffering from a stomach virus as well.

We are Americans, with no medical coverage that would work in Australia except for our Travel Insurance, yet we both felt that the care we received was far superior to anything that would have happened in the States. No one showed concern about our ability to pay. My husband was given every courtesy and consideration that was possible and I, who spent every day at the hospital, was given the same consideration and kindness by every doctor, nurse and trainee who was assigned to my husband's care. We were kept well informed as to what would happen next or possibly happen based on results. Dr. Louise ordered an emergency colonoscopy, which was performed four days after his admission by another doctor who comes to Esperance Hospital periodically, was scheduled that week, and was willing to add my husband to his already full schedule. The result was that my husband was suffering from colon cancer. We had no idea that he had cancer as the only symptom, which showed up during the cruise, was stomach pain. Dr. Louise and the other doctor consulted and decided that the best option for my husband to get back to his home doctor as soon as possible.

Before I tell you about his current situation, I need to say that our stay in Esperance and my husband's hospital experience was an amazingly positive experience all around. We have never met so many caring and wonderful people anywhere who made getting news no one wants to hear a hopeful and truly good thing. The hospital staff - all of them - helped us to feel that this was all a very good thing. Without the pain, the testing and the honest assessment, we would never have known that this thing called cancer, was literally draining the life out of him, and would never know to expedite treatment (even from Australia before we left) that would save his life. While we missed so much that we came to Australia to see, we are convinced that the very best parts of Australia are the people.

Since returning to the US, my husband has been treated at a well known Cancer Hospital in Phoenix, AZ. He had surgery less than a month later where the surgeon removed a 9 cm x 5 cm tumor, 1/2 of his large intestine, part of his small intestine, much tissue around his kidney and his stomach, plus a small lesion on his liver. The pathology report indicated that the lesion on his liver was also cancerous, thereby classifying him as having stage 4 cancer. We go to see the Oncologist this month and work together to develop a treatment.plan. We have great hope and continue to be grateful for the circumstances that led to the discovery of the cancer. By the way, he looks like a different person - his color is back to normal, his appetite is good and improving, his energy level is so much better, and he is sleeping far better than previously. And, of course, he has no pain.

Responses

Response from Geraldine Ennis, Regional Director, WACHS - Goldfields

picture of Geraldine Ennis

Dear Grateful American Tourist,

Thank you for sharing your story with us. It is great to hear that your husband is recovering well from surgery and we wish him all the best for the next part of his treatment journey.

We appreciate you sharing your positive experience of the WA health system and the Esperance Hospital in particular. I will ensure your kind and positive message is relayed to Dr Louse and all the staff involved with your husband’s care.

Kind regards

Geraldine M Ennis PSM

  • Grateful American Tourist thinks this response is helpful
    {{helpful-1}} other {{helpful-1 == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} so too

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