"It is important that people know what a great facility we have in Palo Alto County Health System," said John Allen of Emmetsburg.
John Allen went back to the Emergency Room last week to thank the staff that helped save his life.
He told his story.
John is the Surveillance Director at Wild Rose Casino. He was at work Sept. 17, when he knew something was wrong. A DCI agent took John to the emergency room at Palo Alto County Hospital.
"By then I was out of it from the pain," Allen recalled. "Two doctors took over and they saved my life. The whole hospital team did the right thing at the right time. They diagnosed it quickly and knew what to do until the helicopter arrived."
John Allen had a dissecting abdominal aortic aneurysm. The Emmetsburg team, including Amy Frields, ARNP, and Dr. Daunyale Sporaa worked quickly to stabilize John so he could be transported to Rochester. Sheryl Darling, EMT-PS, assisted in getting John for the trip.
Amy Frields later said that only 20-percent of patients with a dissecting aneurysm survive the first few hours. The whole team at Palo Alto County Hospital worked quickly to help John.
Once the helicopter arrived in Emmetsburg, it was a 45 minute ride to Rochester. Sarah, John's wife, was at their home in the Minneapolis area. She received a call from the DCI agent, alerting her to John's condition.
"It was amazing," recalls Sarah. "The hospital staff had their hands full taking care of John, and they took the time to talk to me on the phone. I knew we had to call our children."
Sarah arrived at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester in time to see the helicopter land. She saw a team of eight doctors meet the helicopter and take her husband straight to surgery.
"There was a 20-percent chance John would survive the helicopter ride and a 20-percent chance ht would survive the surgery," said Sarah. "We waited, hour by hour, for 48 hours to see if he would make it."
"When I woke up from surgery in Rochester, I thanked the doctor for saving my life," said John. "He told me that the staff in Emmetsburg really saved m life by diagnosing, treating and transferring me so quickly."
John Allen was in the hospital at St. Mary's for six days. He was home in Minneapolis for two days before making a return to Rochester with multiple blood clots.
"We have five children and 17 grandchildren," said John. "It is because of them (the Emmetsburg staff) that I still get to see them."
Last week, John went to Palo Alto County Hospital to thank the staff.
"I did it for the hospital," he said. "They need some recognition. They can be proud we have a facility that does so well. And it's important for me to let the people know the capability of the staff at Palo Alto County Hospital."
John Allen is recuperating at his home in Belle Plain, MN. Therapy is going well and he plans to be back at work at the Wild Rose the first of November.
"We want to thank all the well wishers for all their thoughts and prayers," said John.