One early fall day, Rick Hirsch and Jane Fishler were outside taking down a dog house.
Several minutes later, Rick suffered a massive heart attack. With the seconds ticking, Jane called 911 and two East Dubuque first responders came to their residence to start CPR. Once the ambulance arrived, Jane made the easy decision to transfer Rick to UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital in Dubuque.
From the moment they arrived at the emergency room to the nearly 20-day stay at Finley Hospital, Jane knew she made the right choice in choosing Finley.
“When the ambulance arrived and asked me where to take him, I just said Finley,” Jane said. “I didn’t even think about it. It was just great that they had the people here to save his life.”
Throughout their care at Finley, Rick and Jane interacted with Dr. Tauseef Khan, a cardiologist at UnityPoint Clinic Cardiology.
Dr. Khan said the procedures that Rick underwent during his time at Finley was quite extensive.
“Rick needed swift and emergent heart care treatment. The UnityPoint Health team was able to provide a high level of care after he had a heart attack and stroke. From ER care, to procedures to rehabilitation, our teams worked with Rick to get him back on the road to recovery," Khan said.
As he reflects on his experience with Dr. Khan and Finley's Heart and Vascular Center, Rick knows it was life-saving.
“If it wasn’t for Dr. Khan and his staff, I don’t think I would be here,” Rick said.
Jane agrees that coming to Finley Hospital in a trying time for Rick was a positive experience, especially with the interactions they had with various providers and staff.
“They were very, very helpful,” Jane said. “They explained everything and worked with us 100%. We just had excellent care, and they were there for everything.”
Jane and Rick were extremely appreciative of one key part to their Finley care – the honesty providers gave them during consultations.
No matter who was providing care to Rick, each provider shared information in a transparent way, which Jane was sincerely thankful for.
“All of the doctors were really up front with us, and we both appreciated that,” Jane said. “I don’t like someone that tells you what you want to hear. Our doctors told us how it was.”
One of the Finley staff members that helped Rick’s family navigate through their challenging situation was then-chaplain James Mehltretter.
While Jane said her and Rick aren’t all that religious, having the chaplain’s support during one of their hardest times meant the most.
“The chaplain was a wonderful person,” Jane said. “He was the most wonderful person, and he stuck around for quite a while. It kind of helped us all feel at ease. That’s nice to know that regardless of what faith you are, it’s nice that someone is willing to look out for you.”
The support Finley employees provided to Rick and Jane in their time of need also extended beyond the hospital walls.
At an event this August, Rick had the one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet and interact with the people who worked together to save his life at the East Dubuque Fire Station.
Jane said the event was amazing, because her and Rick got to personally thank those people who cared for Rick.
“It was very emotional,” Jane said. “They all came up and shook his hand and told him they were glad to see he was doing well. That meant a lot to us.”
Just over a year since Rick’s life-changing heart attack, Jane is thankful to have received exceptional care at UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital.
When they need care, it’s the place they want to be.
“We like the service that we get here,” Jane said. “They are always very helpful and keep us informed about what’s going on. I’ve always had good luck with Finley. They are my hospital of choice.”
Pictured above are front row, from left, Jane Fishler and Rick Hirsch, along with team members of Finley's Heart and Vascular Center and Emergency Department.