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Letter to the editor... ER thank you
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Dear Editor: Last week, while moving plants on my porch, I was stung by a wasp. Having nearly died a few years a go from a sting, I expected the worst this time. Anaphylactic-shock they call it. In laymen’s terms, that means looking and breathing like the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

My friend Rose was with me and immediately took me to the Emergency Room of Newton Medical Center. I said only two words — bee sting. The back doors of the waiting room immediately opened and within less than 5 minutes I was hooked to an EKG, had oxygen going, was hooked to an IV and blood pressure cuff and breathing monitors were beeping. After mega doses of antihistamine, I was released 3 hours later. The staff told me good bye and said that I was lucky this time.

Now that is what an Emergency Room is supposed to be. It is not a sore throat room or stumped toe room. How lucky we are to have highly trained, dedicated emergency professionals who know an emergency when they see one.

Newton County needs a clinic to free-up our hospital. Citizens who don’t have a family physician definitely need somewhere to go, but it should not be the hospital Emergency Room. Hilton Head Island, S.C., has such a clinic staffed by retired doctors and nurses who gladly give their time and skills to a free clinic.

I have learned that for limited hours one evening a week Willing Helpers at Solid Rock Baptist Church offer a clinic. We should build on this and offer more hours.

I am forever grateful to the Newton Medical Center’s Emergency Room staff.

Irene R. Smith