One of the great benefits of living in a small town is that when one of its residents is facing a difficult time, the local community often rallies around in support.
That was the case for Payne resident, Donnie Egnor as he dealt with serious health issues over the past five years. Egnor says having local home health services has been a key to his recovery.
“I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the nurses from CHP [Home Care & Hospice of Paulding],” Egnor said. “They not only cared for my medical needs, but they supported me through the struggles, talking and crying with me.”
“Skin and Bones”
Egnor has a condition called short bowel syndrome, which can happen following surgeries to remove large portions of the small intestines due to disease or injury. The result is that the body is unable to absorb nutrients from food.
“He’s a phenomenal man, with all that he’s gone through!” said Mary Lichty, RN, Egnor’s primary nurse. “When I first met him, he weighed 120 pounds and was skin and bones.”
Lichty and other CHP nurses provided scheduled, in-home visits two or three times a week to care for the PICC line that delivered him nutrition, plus did lab draws, and provided wound care. They also recommended preventative measures for instances when he needed to return to the hospital.
In addition to scheduled visits, Egnor says nurses came to the home whenever something was needed, whether it was in the middle of the night or after office hours.
“Whenever we’d have questions, they’d be here in 10 minutes, or give us a return phone call,” he said. “We became so familiar that they didn’t even need to ring the doorbell or knock!”
Lichty taught Egnor’s fiancé how to change his PICC line and provided follow-up visits to ensure she was confident to do it correctly.
“Support to carry me through”
In May of 2019, Egnor was discharged from home health services, weighing 165 pounds.
He returned to his job as a sales consultant at Lee Kinstle Sales and Service in Van Wert, which had supported him throughout his health issues.
“After two years, they still had my desk in place, my keys in the drawer, and my name on the board,” Egnor said, gratefully. “Not all employers would do that.”
Egnor says he’s thankful for all the support shown by his community, but he considers five groups as the most important to his fight and recovery.
“Parkview and Cleveland Clinic saved my life,” he said. “My friends and family, the management and staff at Kinstle GM, and the nurses from CHP provided the support I needed to carry me through this.”
The Power of Local
The trend in home health and hospice care now is that large, for-profit companies based in cities like Toledo and Cleveland are delivering services to rural areas in northwest Ohio. Egnor says he’s glad he used a local provider.
“Why wouldn’t you go local?” he said. “The care goes beyond nursing. It’s not just a job for them, it becomes more like family, and they’re right here when you need them.”
Plus, the connections of doing business locally can have a ripple effect beyond health care. Through the relationship they developed, when it came time for Lichty to purchase a newer car, she called Egnor.
“As a home health and hospice nurse, I drive a lot and need a dependable car,” Lichty said. “He trusted me to care for him, so I trusted him to purchase a vehicle.”