A Journey to Better Health

Mary and Charles Roberson of LouisianaFor most people, loading up the RV means a fun, exciting trip is ahead, but Louisiana native Charles Roberson and his wife, Mary, had different plans. They loaded up the RV for a six-hour journey to get Charles’ pacemaker repaired at his hospital of choice, White River Medical Center (WRMC) in Batesville.

Roberson is no stranger to the services and care provided by WRMC. In 2006, while he and his wife were in Mountain View enjoying the annual BeanFest, he became ill. He was immediately taken to Stone County Medical Center (SCMC) Emergency Room for what he thought would be treatment for a minor illness. The diagnosis was much worse; Charles was diagnosed with heart disease and needed a pacemaker. SCMC transported him to WRMC where he underwent a successful procedure and had a complete recovery.

Eight years later, he still relies on the care of WRMC. While it has been recommended by his Cardiologist, Dr. Rick Van Grouw, that he choose a doctor closer to home, Roberson chose to stay with Van Grouw and the team at WRMC Cardiology for his heart care needs. The clinic has technology that allows them to monitor Roberson’s pacemaker at his home. Recently, during a monitoring session, it was discovered that a lead wire in his pacemaker needed repaired.

Roberson and his wife, who own a farm in Louisiana, mapped the 250 mile trip to Batesville to have the procedure he needed at WRMC.

“When I was here last time, I had excellent care and I knew I didn’t want anyone else taking care of me,” he said.

The Robersons arrived in Batesville a few days before the procedure for necessary pre-evaluation and registration.

It was the first time he had seen WRMC in eight years, and he was surprised at the changes at the facility. In 2012, WRMC completed a patient tower expansion that added 60 private rooms, as well as a new cafeteria, gift shop, and surgery area.

“I was amazed at how much it had grown,” said Roberson.

While the facilities had changed, Roberson soon discovered that the care he received from employees hadn’t changed at all.

“It really stood out to me how helpful everyone was,” he said. “Everyone here is willing to go out of their way to help you.”

A couple of those moments that stood out to him include when he walked in to WRMC after arriving and asked where he should park his RV. He immediately had assistance by a Maintenance employee and he was able to park on the hospital’s property.  Also, there was a time when he tried calling his wife, who was in the RV, and couldn’t reach her.  Noticing his concern for her, an employee walked outside to make sure she was okay. “As it turns out, she just didn’t have her phone by her and didn’t hear it ringing,” he said.

He also described the positive attitude of caregivers in Cardiac Catheterization Suites and the help he received from the nurses and housekeeping during his stay. 

A few days later, after a successful procedure and stay, the Robersons loaded up their RV once more and made the trip home back to Louisiana. “I feel like everyone at WRMC has the same aim--to help you stay in good health. I truly believe they want what’s best for their patients.”