Glen J

Glen J

On the "unlucky" day of Friday the 13th this past February, Glenn Jackson knew something was wrong. Never one to pass up a good meal, he skipped dinner and was having such a hard time breathing that he sought help at nearby Silverton Hospital. Hours later, Glenn suffered cardiac and respiratory failure and had to be transferred to the ICU at Salem Hospital.

Thanks to the skilled nurses and doctors at Salem, Glenn's heart began to recover nicely. But by March, Glenn was still dependent on the ventilator, and his level of consciousness continued to be clouded. Against this backdrop, Glenn was transferred to Vibra Specialty Hospital for the hospital’s expertise in managing medically complicated patients.

Soon after Glenn arrived at Vibra, Glenn's sister Virginia noticed Glenn's prolonged lethargy. Knowing her brother was sensitive to certain medications, Virginia talked to Dr. Adam Alter, one of Vibra's hospitalists. "I was so impressed with Dr. Alter," said Virginia. "He was not only competent, but also willing to listen." Dr. Alter adjusted Glenn's medication as Virginia suggested, and within days of the change, Glenn began to be much more alert.

With the increased alertness came Glenn's ability to participate in the work of liberation from mechanical ventilation. He made remarkable progress and soon the machine was turned off. Virginia laughed aloud when she recalls that, among Glenn's first words in nearly a month was the exclamation, "Feed me!!" With deep relief, Virginia said, "We knew he was going to be alright after that."

Vibra Respiratory Therapist Tameca Pryce found a unique way to make Glenn's breathing exercises less tedious. "I learned that he used to play for the Oakland Raiders" said Tameca, "so I talked to him about my beloved Cowboys." Glenn loved being distracted by their friendly banter and had to be redirected frequently. Smiling broadly, he would say to Tameca, "You're no joke, are you?" before returning to his exercises.

Glenn's friends at the South Salem Church of Christ added even more hope and spirit to Glenn's recovery. Their daily visits both delighted and surprised Glenn. "I have more friends than I even knew," says Glenn with a humble smile. "It just wasn't Glenn's time to go," proclaimed one parishioner. "God has other plans for him."

Glen is grateful that those other plans include eating good food. On a warm and sunny day in June, Glenn sat down to that dinner he left behind in February. Surrounded by family and friends, and blanketed in the warmth of the summer's sun, it was hard not to smile over the joys of fine food and the blessing of reclaimed health.