Nichols: Vaughan is my hospital of choice

Published 9:30 pm Thursday, January 25, 2018

By Becky Nichols | Nichols is the director of the Selma-Dallas County Public Library

I was born in the old Vaughan Hospital where the Smitherman Museum is currently housed. My brother Jimmie tells the story of climbing up the winding staircase outside the building to come and see his new baby sister. That was nearly 70 years ago.

For all my life, any medical needs our family encountered were handled by the Vaughan Hospital. After my original birth location, the hospital of my childhood would be the old Vaughan Regional Medical Center which is now a vacant lot on West Dallas Avenue.

But in that “sacred space” are the memories of the doctors and nurses who delivered care and dispensed love and understanding. They were part of the “Vaughan culture of caring” that characterized my hospital memories.

Hospitals like cultures change and they should. For with change comes more knowledge, greater skills and new equipment leading to more effective treatments.

This past week of my otherwise very routine life was suddenly and devastatingly interrupted by sickness. I am healing now and will soon be up and back in the puppet house.

But what transpired that week is worth telling because it is about the people of the Vaughan Regional Medical Center located here in Selma right out there on Citizens Parkway. It is about people working together to care for others and to provide for their healthy living.

From the minute that I was admitted into ER late on Sunday night to the moment that I was officially dismissed on Saturday, I was privileged to be cared for by professionals on all levels. This was care delivered with efficiency and patience and love. I’ll readily admit being fearful. I was “a stranger in a strange land” and also had no idea what was happening to my otherwise very predictable body.

Over the course of those next few days those fears were replaced by friendly faces, by loving hands and by capable people. Every single nurse, attendant, doctor and worker were part of a dedicated healthcare team whose singular goal was to make me well again.

Every detail, every need and every situation was handled and each smiling face left with only one question, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

I have gradually recovered and in that process have developed a confidence and pride in my local hometown hospital. My special thanks go to all the people who gave me such wonderful care but especially my friends on the third floor. The hospital is a lot like our community. Our wonderful little town of Selma has its challenges but its true heart lies in its people and their determination to build a better community and a better quality of life. It takes the hard work of everyone coming together to make that quality of life happen.

We are doing that in Selma, Alabama. It is my community of choice. And Vaughan Regional Medical Center is my hospital of choice.