Lorie R.

Lorie R.

In some ways, Lorie Raymer’s husband had been training for this moment all his life. When Lorie, an ICU nurse who taught her family how to respond to medical emergencies, slumped in her chair and couldn’t speak, Clyde Raymer knew he needed to act swiftly. Within moments, he called for help.

Lorie was seen initially at Providence Newberg Hospital, and when a CT scan confirmed a stroke, she was immediately transferred to OHSU. “Lights flashed, sirens yelped, and they were off,” wrote Clyde in the journal he kept, “but I could see the coordination occurring between the two hospitals and I knew she was in good hands.” A few hours after Lorie’s arrival at OHSU’s Neuro ICU, her physicians gathered Lorie’s family and described the stroke as “severe, with little hope of survival.” For Lorie’s family, hopes turned to one more day, one more tomorrow.

Almost miraculously, the “tomorrows” kept coming. Lorie progressed, first to the step-down unit at OHSU, and next to Vibra Specialty Hospital. Again, the continuity of care was profoundly apparent. “A medical briefing occurred between OHSU and Vibra staff,” noted Clyde, “as Lorie moved from one part of the care plan to the next.”

The staff at Vibra are well-versed in the challenges that follow a severe stroke. In his journal entry on Lorie’s first day at Vibra, Clyde wrote, “Nurse Jessica, CNA Vila, Occupational Therapist Christine, Physical Therapist Mike and Respiratory Therapist Sandy all worked together the first day we were there to develop a comprehensive plan for Lorie.” When Dr. Cynthia Wallace provided Clyde with her pager number, Clyde realized that he, too, was an intimate part of Lorie’s comprehensive plan. “Having that pager number was like being welcomed into the inner circle,” Clyde remembers with no small amount of gratitude. “I was part of the team.”

Vibra’s therapy team concentrated their efforts on strengthening Lorie’s muscles so she could first sit, then stand, then walk. They also helped her re-learn the things the stroke took from her - - basic activities of daily life such as eating, bathing, and dressing. Each week a physical therapy schedule was posted on a white board in Lorie’s room, signaling that Lorie’s future was no longer measured in days, but in weeks.

Having successfully completed the plan of care at Vibra, Lorie was transferred to Marquis Care at Newberg, and from there to the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon. With each of Lorie’s transfers, Clyde marveled at the seamless transition from one facility to the next. “Some may think of health care as fragmented,” stated Clyde, “but I know we’ve been part of an integrated system, and that Lorie has benefited from the expertise of each level.” The continuity of care that has spanned all levels of acuity has come full circle as Lorie prepares to return home with Clyde and their daughter Olivia.

It’s been four months since Lorie suffered a stroke that nearly took her life. Looking back to the audacity of hoping for one more tomorrow, Lorie and Clyde celebrate the collaboration in the health care system that has given them back Lorie’s future.