How a Coast caregiver received life-saving care from Dr. Hirsch and Singing River Health System, rated #1 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for Patient Safety in Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage.
It was 2010 when Elaine Vaughan of Ocean Springs first began having fainting spells due to bouts with irregular blood pressure and low blood levels.
Over the next five years, Elaine battled the condition, receiving blood regularly as well as a pacemaker in efforts to help regulate blood levels.
The cause of the irregularity would be revealed one fateful night when Elaine found herself in a fight for her life.
After returning home from one of her regular scope and blood infusion procedures on a Thursday, Elaine noticed she wasn’t feeling as well as she normally would after receiving blood. By Saturday night, she knew something was terribly wrong. Having taught her granddaughter how to take blood pressure, Elaine asked her to read the fateful numbers which confirmed her worst fears: 70 over 40. Before the ambulance arrived, she began vomiting blood.
Elaine arrived at Singing River Health System in critical condition, weak and bleeding internally. Dr. Catherine Hirsch of Regional Digestive Specialists with a nurse team at Singing River Hospital would spend the next six hours working tirelessly to stop the bleeding and save her life.
“I am a Christian, and I’m ready if the Lord wants me,” Elaine told Dr. Hirsch, “but I trust you–and put my life in your hands.”
Dr. Hirsch successfully stopped the bleeding, saving her stomach and her life. Elaine was diagnosed with multiple Arteriovenous Malformations (AVMs) in the stomach, which were determined to have caused the bleeding that had plagued her for years. Following several days in ICU with multiple blood, platelet and plasma transfusions, she was able to return home.
“I was dying, but God blessed Dr. Hirsch. I just can’t thank her enough. She never gave up. She’s my hero.”
Today, Elaine follows a strict regimen of diet and exercise, and makes sure she takes no blood thinning medication or aspirin, which could aggravate the condition. She makes the most of each day, volunteering her time as a caregiver for the elderly.
“I’m doing great now. Thanks to Dr. Hirsch and Singing River Health System, the Lord gave me a new lease on life.”
Dr. Catherine Hirsch is a third generation physician and board certified gastroenterologist with a special interest in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Her practice, Regional Digestive Specialists, is a partner of Singing River Health System, ranked #1 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for Medical Excellence in Major Bowel Procedures as well as Patient Safety in Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage. Those recognitions were among a total of 58 quality care achievements awarded in 2016 by CareChex®– a division of Comparion.®
» Discover more about Singing River Health System’s digestive health services and partnership with Regional Digestive Specialists.