Years of worry end in one ED visit

By the time Rosemary Petersen arrived at Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Emergency Department, she had begun to think that doctors would never find the cause of her problem.

Petersen has had Crohn’s disease for more than 30 years. For 2-1/2 years, she suffered inexplicable bleeding from her stoma, an opening in the abdomen created as a way to bypass diseased portions of the intestine,allowing waste material to be removed from the body.

“I was getting weaker and weaker, and I wasn’t sure how long I could survive like that. When I went to the hospital near my home, I was told they couldn’t find the cause unless there was active bleeding. All they could do was give me blood transfusions,” said Petersen. She received eight transfusions over that period, and still had no idea what was wrong.

In February 2015, she decided to go to Abbott Northwestern instead. “Suddenly, I was surrounded by doctors. I just remember all of them around my bed, discussing what to do next,” Petersen said. She had several tests and returned home. The next morning she received a phone call that brought her to tears.

A gastroenterology specialist who had consulted on her case the previous day had the answer she had been waiting for. “She told me they knew exactly what was going on, and that it could be treated with surgery,”said Petersen. “I was so relieved, I cried.”

Since her surgery, she’s had no more problems with the bleeding. “I can’t say enough about my doctors and the hospital. Everyone was looking for answers, and they’re so kind and caring. It’s just a great hospital.”

Caring hands

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Our Emergency Department delivers life-saving care and coordinates the critical first steps that help patients like Rosemary get the care they need. Help us serve our growing community and its critical care needs with a gift to the Emergency Department – Critical Care Campaign