Cared for after caring for husband

Rita, Larry and Kim’s story

A couple sits by the campfire, toasting marshmallows, enjoying the company of family. Their names are Rita and Larry, and not long ago, they nearly lost their lives in a tornado.

On their wedding anniversary, as they do every year, the couple went camping. As they set up camp, the weather began to turn and they found themselves in the middle of an F-1 tornado. Unable to escape the island where they were staying, they huddled under a heavy park bench, but Larry was struck by a falling tree and badly injured.

After a desperate call for help, EMT’s arrived on the island within 30 minutes. Fighting through the storm, the couple was rushed to Howard Young Medical Center where staff began to treat Larry for his broken pelvis and abrasions.

Rita recalls being amazed with the staff’s level of organization and attention to detail, given the number of patients in the emergency department that night. She was particularly impressed with a woman named Kim Yates who was attentive enough to recognize that Rita was in need of medical attention herself. After some tests Rita was diagnosed with cardiomiopathy and was started on a treatment plan.

And now by the campfire, with the storm behind them, Larry and Rita are able to sit and reflect on their experience. This is not just a day to be thankful for good weather and good marshmallows, it’s a day to be thankful for life.

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