Grateful Patient Profile: Tim de Jong
11/15/2016 4:33 PM
Tim de Jong moved to Central Texas in 1992 and started his business, Wimberley Glassworks. He lives an active lifestyle that includes running half-marathons and raising his 14-year-old daughter, Li.
When he fell ill last year, de Jong found himself in the Central Texas Medical Center Emergency Room. While he didn’t think his illness was serious at first, he ended up having an emergency gall bladder removal and spending four days in the Intensive Care Unit.
“I have a whole new respect for nurses, especially ICU nurses,” he said. “Every single person on that staff has a healing touch. I never once felt like I wasn’t the priority.”
De Jong recalls having a panic attack at 2:30 a.m. and being calmed by CTMC ICU Nurse Rowdy Koenig. “He looked at me and asked, ‘Do I look scared?’ I responded, ‘No,’ and he said, ‘When I get scared, you can get scared.’ He was so present and gave comfort when I was in total panic.”
For de Jong, the most remarkable thing about his hospital stay was the focus on meeting the spiritual needs of each patient. He remembers a visit from CTMC Chaplain Merlin Starr and a morning and evening prayer playing on the overhead speaker that he found to be “tremendously calming and really healthy.”
“So much of medicine is about money and not spiritual health, but CTMC walks the line between providing quality medical care and providing for the soul,” he said.
De Jong said he feels he was given a second chance at life that was supported by all of the staff at CTMC. After being released from CTMC in May 2015, he strictly followed his doctor’s orders and had normal blood work 10 days afterward. A month later, he was able to set out on a
17-day trip to China with his daughter.
“I really think I was supposed to go to CTMC,” de Jong said. “God obviously has some sort of plan, and I’d like to thank all of the caregivers I came in contact with. Every single person had an equal part in my healing. Everyone there has a healing hand.”