At first I wondered if I should write a letter to the editor because of my history as local news media and the feeling maybe I should not publicly take sides. That history does not however change my position as a member of this community, a voter, and a property owner.
Let’s do some math: 2,411 days ago, from the writing of this letter, I had a heart attack. The Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center was able to give me appropriate care until I could be transferred by LifeFlight to Hermann Hospital in Houston. My son, 11 at the time, held his mother’s hand as I was rolled out and loaded onto the helicopter. I was able to assure him that he was loved beyond measure, and I would see him soon.
The cardiac staff at Hermann were wonderful, as expected, and I did, in fact, come home to my boy. However, my surgeon, was quite clear, had I not gotten to my local hospital to be stabilized, I would not have made it. Yes, he said I would have died. So now, let’s do that math I mentioned.
The hospital district is asking for a 9 cent increase per $100 of assessed value. For a home value of $100,000, that is an additional $90 per year.
Ninety dollars per year for each of the past almost six years since my heart attack comes to $540. That amount breaks down to $90 per Christmas morning I’ve had. My child turned 12, I was there. For age 13, I was there, 14, 15, 16, 17 and most recently age 18. For $77 per birthday, I was there.
If you choose to vote for or against the bond issue, that is your choice, and I applaud you for participating in the process. Maybe you’ve already figured it out, I will vote YES. There are more reasons why – elderly family members and friends. If something happens, I want access quickly to medical care for them. If they have to be transported, so be it, but having the care available quickly can make a huge difference in the long term outcome.
My son, as an infant, having the local hospital help him with a night where he was having difficulty breathing meant I did not have to drive a sick baby 40 to 45 minutes to Baytown.
A family member fell and badly broke one leg and damaged the other. Yes, she was transported, but really? You want her to be driven to Houston or Baytown without medical stabilization of the breaks first? Have you ever ridden in the back of an ambulance? That’s not always comfortable.
Teenagers, mine. My goofy boy broke his hand. Not a life threatening injury but the hospital was able to stabilize the break, lessening his pain until we could get him to Baytown and the orthopedist.
Our hospital does a great job, their staff is wonderful, but the building is 70 years old and medical technology has changed a lot in what is needed.
Back to math, $540 divided by 2,411 days since my heart attack equals about 22 cents per day – a price this mom will gladly pay to be with my son and family for 2,411 extra days. The argument has been made about passing along the debt to our children and grandchildren. Ask my son if he would pay the additional 22 cents per day. Count me as a yes vote.
Formerly KSHN Radio