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A night of pain turned into a life-saving diagnosis

A nurse practitioner’s swift action and compassionate care helps patient with miraculous recovery.

Picture of A night of pain turned into a life-saving diagnosis

“Every step felt like a miracle. From diagnosis to surgery, the care I received was exceptional.”

It wasn’t an ordinary night for Mrs. D. Smith. The 71-year-old resident of Palm City, Florida, went to bed as usual, unaware of the dramatic turn her night would take. Hours later, she awoke in excruciating pain radiating from her right lower rib cage. “It felt like nothing I’d ever experienced before,” she said. Despite her efforts to ease the discomfort and fall back asleep, the pain only intensified, making sleep impossible.

The following morning, she called her doctor’s office first thing. Pam Harrington, nurse practitioner at WellMed at South Stuart, in South Stuart, Florida, knew something was not right. Mrs. Smith arrived at the clinic experiencing burning in the lower rib cage and chest, and extreme nausea and vomiting. “I ordered a STAT abdomen ultrasound to determine the cause of Mrs. Smith’s pain,” Pam explained.

The ultrasound results were concerning, revealing acute cholecystitis — a serious medical condition characterized by inflammation of the gallbladder, demanding immediate attention. “I was shocked,” Mrs. Smith said. “Pam urged me to go straight to the emergency room, but I hesitated. She explained the severity and arranged consultations with the appropriate specialists.” Despite Mrs. Smith’s initial reluctance, Pam guided her through the process with care and concern.

Thanks to Pam’s proactive approach, Mrs. Smith underwent surgery within days. “Every step felt like a miracle,” Mrs. Smith said. “From diagnosis to surgery, the care I received was exceptional.”

Now recovering, Mrs. Smith is deeply grateful for Pam’s dedication. “When I met her, I felt like she genuinely cared about my well-being,” Mrs. Smith shared. “She asked detailed questions, listened to my concerns, and never rushed through our time together. I couldn’t have asked for a better health care provider.”

Pam finds great satisfaction in seeing her patients thrive. “There’s nothing more rewarding than witnessing a patient’s journey to wellness,” she said.

Reflecting on Mrs. Smith’s condition, Pam emphasizes the importance of prompt medical action. “Abdominal symptoms can escalate quickly. It’s crucial to act fast,” she said. “Acute cholecystitis is an emergency that requires immediate attention to prevent complications.”

Pam’s message to anyone experiencing unusual symptoms is clear: Don’t hesitate to seek medical help. Your health is too precious to ignore.