Our mother was hospitalized in December 2016, with flu/pneumonia and since she was 80 years old we were very concerned about the medical treatment options that were being presented. My sister, Jean heard Rosie Oldham speak on a radio talk show about a year prior, and we called her for assistance to advocate with our mother’s complex medical care. Our mother Carol was not improving as we had hoped and in fact, the medicines given for pneumonia caused her to go into kidney failure. She had fluid around her lungs and the doctors wanted to put chest tubes in. She was very fragile and weighed only 85 lbs.
Ms. Oldham came to the hospital and met with my mother, sister and myself. She reviewed my mother’s chart to include diagnosis, history, labs, vital signs, weight, oxygen levels, physical/nutritional condition, heart and lung status. Ms. Oldham immediately picked up on a nearly 20-pound weight loss as on admission my mother weighed 102 lbs. Ms. Oldham provided us with information that helped us speak to the physicians and the staff. We were able to get my mother’s weight loss and nutritional status addressed right away. In addition, we were able to question the procedures physicians were promoting and request less traumatic means of removing the fluid by a procedure called “thoracentesis.” This removed the pressure from my mother’s lungs and heart and she felt much better even after 6 weeks in hospital care.
One of the most frustrating things for our family was when the hospital at six weeks said that mother’s “Medicare days are up” so she needs to be discharged. My sister and I were in no position to take her home and although she walked into the hospital and was living independently, she was now so frail that she could not stand up, swallowing was impossible due to how weak she was (they did put a tube in to feed her) and she was receiving dialysis. Ms. Oldham assisted us in working through a very difficult situation as there was no place to admit her with all her medical problems. Ms. Oldham provided us with information regarding mother’s patient rights and her Medicare coverage. She was stabilized further at the hospital then discharged to a rehab center 12 weeks after admission.
We believed that our mother was so sick that we were observing the end of her life when we reached out to Ms. Oldham. This devastated us as she was such a fighter and wanted to regain her health and go back to living independently. We became very hopeful with Ms. Oldham’s assistance that she could possibly recover. With Ms. Oldham and her team, we were provided with information that allowed us to speak in a realistic manner to obtain support from the staff. Mother did recover from this critical hospitalization. She even gained weight and began eating normally again. She was able to stop the kidney dialysis as her kidneys healed. She rehabbed well enough to walk with a walker and go home. Ms. Oldham, we’ve deeply appreciated the help and kindness over the past year as well as from your team. Mother is doing well.
Carol, Greg and Jean - Scottsdale, AZ