On Thursday, Aug. 27, at 11:30 a.m., a host of representatives from the Springfield Lions Club of Robertson County gathered in one of the conference rooms at North Crest Medical Center in Springfield to present NCMC staff with the gift of a blanket warmer for Med Surgical Floor 3, where the facility provides care for suspected and positive COVID patients.  

For Beverly Webster and her husband, Tony, the warmed blankets represent the warmth and comforting that is extended to every patient and their loved and visitors at North Crest Medical Center.

Both are members of the Springfield Lions Club, where Tony serves as president, with Beverly as the driving force behind this plan for gifting, since her mother, Ruth Bollinger, 86, was one of the first residents of Springfield Heights to be admitted to NCMC as a positive COVID patient. 

“The hospital board of trustees and healthcare professionals express gratitude for thinking of us and for all you do for this community and this hospital,” said Amy Gallagher, chair of the Board of Trustees. “We would not be able to have the care we’re able to give without such support.” 

Many at NCMC were moved by the presentation of the blanket warmer, which plays a key role in providing comfort for patients of all ages.

They were also touched by the Webster family’s appreciation for their part in providing care and comfort for COVID patients like Ruth Bollinger, who is the widow of longtime Robertson County Sheriff Gene Bollinger.

“Her mother is 86 and has now made it to the rehab phase of her recovery,” said Adele Watts, CHC, Chief Compliance Officer at NCMC.  “Throughout her hospital stays, the family and the patient felt the care and service we provided as well as how careful we were in regards to PPE usage, education, etc.  The family and patient feel she is alive only because of the initial care we provided. She wanted to do something nice for the floor to thank the staff that took care of her mom.”

Webster thanked the staff of NCMC for the care that had been provided for her mother who is now a resident at Boulevard Terrace, a rehabilitation nursing center located in Murfreesboro.

But things were a challenge before coming to NCMC in Springfield that led to Boulevard Terrace.

“At the end of April, we knew something was wrong with her while she was at Springfield Heights,” Webster said. “On May 8, God said to send her to the hospital or she won’t live through the weekend. Because of God’s guidance, the power of prayer, and the angels here with the front line workers and staff at NorthCrest, my mother is alive today. She had the fight of her life, but it was the skills, dedication, love, hope, and faith given to treating my Mom that turned things upward. They never gave up on an 86-year-old and constantly provided updates.”

She was at NCMC from May 8 through June 3, with the couple recalling a disturbing call that received.

“They called us on a Monday morning at 3 p.m. and said if you want to see her, you’d better come now,” Tony recalled. “She’s got stomach bleed, with bleeding out of a muscle in her stomach. They had already given her two units of blood that night before they called. When we got here that morning, there were in the process of putting two more units of blood in her. Then, they said the reason they called is because they didn’t think she was going to live.”

Beverly said that they had been allowed to stay three hours with her, letting us know that she had tested positive.

“We were dressed head to toe and we did the 14-day quarantine,” Beverly said. “At least they gave us the opportunity to be with her. They didn’t have to call. They could have called the next morning and said Miss Beverly we’re sorry, she didn’t make it through the night. They didn’t do that. They called. They gave us the opportunity to quarantine for 14 days. I held her hand. I did touch her. But when we left, we washed everything from head to toe. We were lucky to let her know was still loved, and that’s what matters.”

For both Beverly and Tony the love of God should never be taken for granted nor should it be underestimated.  

“They called us later that day wanting us to let them know what we had done with her because she had improved,” he said. “It was just that – the loving contact made the difference.”

Beverly noted that after that moment she started to turn around and improve.

Soon, the time came for a transfer to the Murfreesboro facility, and NCMC alerted the family about the move, with permission to follow the ambulance.

“When we got there, the sky just cleared,” Beverly said, her voice quaking. “One of the medics said something to her. She then looked over to us in the car and waved. Because of NCMC my mother is alive.”

Webster addressed the gathering of NCMC, singing praises, giving thanks to God.

“I have a big smile on my face, to celebrate and give thanks to North Crest Medical Center,” said Beverly. “My mother was 86 years old when she was diagnosed with COVID. I can’t say enough good things about your care for her.”

She even recalls the times the nurses at NCMC would call to let her hear her mother breathing, since she was unable to speak.

“There are no words powerful enough to express what all of this means,” said Beverly. “People here showed us that my mother’s life is still valuable, and she needs to live. This place (NCMC) is a blessing, and our community better realize it. If they need somebody to get out and spread what’s positive, I’ll do it. People that jump to the wrong conclusion either have one negative thing happen here, and it takes away the two-hundred positive things that were all up front. We’re here to serve the community and to celebrate the positives. The Lion’s Club couldn’t do what they did with the blanket warmer without community support.”

Beverly is encouraged and inspired by her mother’s care, spirit and presence, and like mother-like daughter, she knows that lending a helping hand enriches the spirit and extend the collective open heart of community.

“Non-profits don’t get the financial support during something like COVID because people don’t have the money to offer support,” she said. “I’m going to be proactive on this.  The needs are increasing.  We’ll keep working diligently to stay ahead on what we can do here in Robertson County.”

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