Patient Story Of Peggy Hambrecht
I was born with Tetrology of Fallot in 1956, also called “blue baby syndrome.” The odds were not in my favor as my parents were told to hurry and have more children since I would not live to be three years old. An early emergency sent me to another hospital where two surgeries were performed. I was told by a doctor in 1968 that I was lucky to have been born a girl so I'd never have to work.
But, three years later, at 16, I was young and, for the first time in my life, I felt I was HEALTHY! I worked as a waitress at a nice diner but had no health benefits. I didn't think anything of it because I thought all this “cardiac stuff” was behind me. I knew of Deborah Hospital and there was a Chapter that I joined and supported, never knowing I'd be in need of their help myself someday.
Then, I happened to visit my family doctor. He sent me to a cardiologist who discovered that I was in trouble! However, nobody would touch me without insurance! Deborah stepped up to the plate, I had two cardiac caths in a couple of months and open heart surgery three months after that.
The care of everyone, from entry to exit, was marvelous, respectful, and individualized. The environment was spotless, and volunteers were plentiful. I asked Dr. Niguadula, my surgeon, if I could become a nurse and he responded, "Why not. Give it a try." I thank him to this day for that approach because I became an RN. I love being a nurse.
How many people do I not see and know of that helped me? Be it a chapter member, donor, employee, volunteer, etc.: EVERYBODY HAD A ROLE TO PLAY IN MY SUCCESS! The gift that was given to me by all of you has been and is being paid forward in my life! THANK YOU! I live every day as fully as possible, touching so many others through my faith, my nursing, and being a youth leader. Thanks to Deborah, I’ve been happily married for 25 years this coming September.
Besides making an annual donation, my husband and I chose to include Deborah in our wills as a way of passing on the gifts we've shared in our lives that we would have never known if it were not for Deborah. We truly believe that any amount one can donate can make a difference in someone's life…therefore we give. I hope others will too.