East Penn Press

Saturday, July 4, 2020
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOOllie and Sue Block praise medical personnel following a recent hospital stay. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOOllie and Sue Block praise medical personnel following a recent hospital stay.

Couple praises first responders, hospital and rehabilitation workers

Thursday, April 30, 2020 by BEVERLY SPRINGER Special to The Press in Local News

Sue and Ollie Block, of Macungie, recently experienced a medical ordeal. However, their strongest memories of his 15 night hospital stay are of the kindness, compassion and consideration demonstrated by every health care worker they encountered.

According to Ollie and Sue, the ambulance, hospital and therapy personnel have all been “way above excellent.”

Ollie, 78, entered Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest for treatment of symptoms that resulted in the discovery of a brain bleed. His wife Sue went with him to the emergency room, but due to precautions to halt the spread of COVID-19, she could accompany him no farther. Adding to the stress of the situation, from Ollie’s admission to his release, they were in touch only by telephone.

The requisite surgery went well. Ollie was out of the intensive care unit and on the hospital’s in-house rehabilitation floor when he began running a fever. His COVID-19 test proved positive. He was moved to the area designated for patients diagnosed with the virus.

The news stunned Sue. “The kindness and compassion” of the nurses and staff who ensured she remained well informed kept Sue going.

Ollie entered the COVID-19 treatment area of the hospital on a Thursday afternoon and came home the following Tuesday.

His case was a mild one. In his words, “I was very fortunate. For a couple of days, I thought they were kidding me.” He recalls one treatment for the virus was a recommendation by his physical therapist that he lie on his stomach for one hour six times a day to improve his breathing. It helped.

Since Ollie’s discharge from the hospital, the Blocks have been required to wear masks even for interactions with each other. This stipulation has resulted in some humorous situations, such as attempting to eat wearing a mask. In addition, a visiting nurse, physical therapist and occupational therapist provide transitional in-home care.

The Blocks feel blessed for having received excellent personal and professional treatment from all levels of medical personnel. They are equally thankful for the support of their family, friends, church and community.

When asked if they have any advice to share, Sue responded, “People need to be careful … people are kind. Never give up hope.”