Monday, October 15, 2012

Carroll Gardens Resident Thanks Downstate LICH EMS Crew Who Saved His Life

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George and Sonia, Downstate LICH EMS
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George, Tony, Dolores and Sonia

What a difference a week makes. On October 6th, my good friend and Carroll Gardens neighbor Tony suffered a massive heart attack and went into cardiac arrest. Thankfully, George and Sonia, two Downstate Long Island College Hospital EMS workers, were able to revive him and brought him to LICH, where doctors treated his coronary artery blockage by inserting stents.

When Tony came home just days after this big scare, he told me about George and Sonia and how thankful he was to them. "They came a few times to check on me while I was in the hospital."

This past Saturday, exactly a week after he almost lost his life, Tony and his wife Dolores were walking on Court Street when they ran into George and Sonia. I don't need to tell you that it was a rather joyful reunion.  Tony later sent me the photos above.

I would personally like to thank George and Sonia for all of their hard work and for saving Tony. He is one of the nicest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet and life on my block just wouldn't be the same without him and his big smile.

I am sure everyone in the neighborhood knows that Long Island Hospital has had many financial problems and almost closed its doors just a few years ago. It survived by merging with SUNY Downstate Medical Center just last year, but this July, there were more layoffs.
We should all make sure that we support our neighborhood hospital so that people like George and Sonia can continue saving lives.


JS said...

The merge with SUNY was being promoted and pushed by some, but a lot of us kept asking how SUNY could possibly help LICH at all when news reports almost every other day were about the dire straits the state was in financially. Downstate was losing millions even before it took over LICH. If youre having trouble paying your bills, would you be going out buying a 2nd and 3rd home? Downstate did. So a lot of us felt this merge was just putting LICH from the frying pan into the fire but those concerns were ignored. After being raped by Continuum for so many years, LICH needed and deserved a financially sound owner and committed, capable management. A lot of us kept asking how SUNY was going to be able to do that with all the economic difficulties the state was having. We were told not to worry - the state was committed to the merge and to the renewal of LICH. In the rush to push the merge, other alternative solutions that were proposed to help LICH were not even considered by the powers that be. In 2011 & 2012 SUNY made a lot of promises for big plans at LICH that never were follwed through. Pretty much the only thing that changed was the CEO. In the less than 2 years since the merge, there have been 4 different new CEOs - one being "resigned" the day after he had his introductory townhall meeting with the staff at LICH. The latest CEO came in bragging about being "a Brooklyn boy, born & bred" and caring about Brooklyn. He now announces that he wants to close LICH, seemingly not caring about this part of Brooklyn being left without a full-service neighborhood hospital. Continuum neglected and abused LICH and the so-called savior, SUNY Downstate reneged on its promises and obligation to this community. SUNY has announced it changed its mind about being in the hospital business and is now trying to kill LICH altogether. LICH is a good hospital. Its doctors are among the best ranked by US News & World Report. Its pulmonary and neuroscience programs are nationally known. LICH is a designated Stroke Center, not only serving the local community but also all of Brooklyn. Patients are transferred to LICH from other hosptials for its neurology and neurosurgery services. LICH's neonatal ICU service is #2 in the borough. The hospital's entire nursing staff has a reputation for high quality. LICH nurses have additional, ongoing, and advanced education and training in their areas, including the specialty areas like critical care, neuroscience, maternal/child and emergency departments. There is so much more to be proud of LICH for. The thing that has been and still is wrong with LICH is the executive management by its step-parents. LICH does not have to die. It is being murdered by mismangement and corporate incompetence. If it is rescued from those it can return to its fullest potential and continue serving this community. But it needs the community's help in putting pressure on SUNY's Board of Trustees, Downstate CEO John Williams and Governor Cuomo. The SUNY Board of Trustees is voting next week on whether it will close LICH & sell off the building. They have bills to pay & the hospital building is worth $1/2 billion dollars. Without a fight from the community, LICH will be nothing but Downstates real estate cash cow, just as it was for Continnuum, but this time the there really will be nothing left.

Katia said...

Hi JS,
Would you mind contacting me directly at pardonmeinbrooklyn at gmail dot com. I would like to speak to you regarding the LICH situation. Thanks