I was about 7-years-old and will not bore you with the details of how I got a four-inch gash on my right foot.
I will tell you my mother rushed me to Ivy Memorial Hospital with a slip she had shucked off and tied around my foot.
I remember looking into her eyes and the white tile ceiling as Dr. Flowers sewed up my foot with 16 stitches.
I remember it hurt like H-E-double-toothpicks!
I’m one of the lucky ones who have never spent the night in a hospital.
Some in this community are not so lucky, and at age 61 I have to believe my day - or night - is coming.
So where do you turn when you get really sick? Where do you go when it’s time to get well? And where do they carry you when you fall out on the floor or one of your kids just needs 16 stitches?
It is the task of a local hospital to take us in, diagnose the situation and offer us the best care possible. You see, America is the only country on Earth that demands the same type of healthcare for both the poor and rich.
And the day they wheel me into Delta Health Clarksdale Hospital, I will expect no less.
To say a good hospital is critical to a community’s quality of life is a vast understatement.
Yes, we need jobs, education, retail development, entertainment, safe streets and good neighborhoods, but they pale in comparison to the need for quality medical care.
I’ve covered healthcare issues in three states.
I saw the emergency room close in Houston, Mississippi. I saw them build a brand spanking new hospital in Texas. I saw my hometown hospital in West Point merge with the hospital in Tupelo.
I don’t think Clarksdale realizes how close they came to losing their hospital over the past couple of years.
I don’t think people understand what DHS is trying to do with healthcare across the Delta.
Clarksdale was Greenville’s first acquisition and has been followed closely by Senatobia. There are more to come.
Rural healthcare in the Mississippi Delta is in crisis. And I urge you to look around and see who is growing, who is looking to the future and who is being successful in this neck of the woods.
When we first heard that DHS was looking at the Clarksdale hospital, the buzz was, “If they don’t know how to do healthcare successfully in the Mississippi Delta, no one does.”
They look like they have got it right.
It’s easy to nag about your most recent trip to the hospital. There are some who go to a doctor and then look for a reason to sue. And there are some who get top quality healthcare and never pay the bill.
Yes, these are trying times for rural healthcare.
I’m glad Clarksdale - the Delta’s Rising Star - has seen the light.
Floyd Ingram is the Editor of your Clarksdale Press Register. Call him at 662-627-2201 with your aches and pains and he’ll send you to a good hospital.