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Blessed by the care

Dear Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people and organizations to express my gratitude and appreciation for their support this past year.

One year ago, after a day of testing related to my celiac disease and a colitis condition, I returned to Valley View Hospital with extreme nausea and dehydration, along with what I thought was a pulled muscle in my chest. It was not until I reached the ER that evening when the pain had spread across my chest and into my left shoulder, did I realize that I was having a heart attack.

After I was treated and stabilized in the ER, I spent the early morning hours in the cath lab with cardiologist Dr. Frank Laws and his staff cleaning out clots near my heart. It was determined that I still had clots remaining in what was termed an “ominous position.” That afternoon, I was transferred by helicopter to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction for bypass surgery the next morning with thoracic surgeon Dr. James Narrod and his staff.

The care that I received at both hospitals was excellent, and we are fortunate to have these facilities on the Western Slope. Thanks to the ER staff, Dr. Laws and his cardiology team, the Cardiac Care Units, Tom and the helicopter pilots, Dr. Narrod and his surgical team, and all the nurses and other staff members who saved and touched my life while I was under their care for seven days.

Thank you to our church family from Church at Carbondale for all of your prayers and unwavering support, which was evident with your visits, flowers and a constant presence with Barbara and our two girls. Thanks to the Scott and Nancy DeWind family for taking care of Nilsse, Stina and our dog Maya while Barbara was by my side at St. Mary’s. Thank you to all of you who sent cards and e-mails, called me and provided meals upon my return home. Thanks also to my neighbor Whitey for mowing our lawn during last year’s wet spring.

Thank you to my employer, SkyWest Airlines, for granting me a medical leave of absence for five weeks and then accommodating my work schedule for seven more weeks until I received a full medical release. Thanks to those of you with whom I work for the flowers, cards, e-mails, calls and hugs. Thank you also to my partners with Pitkin Portage Skycaps at the airport – Mike, Doug, and Paul – for covering for me while I was out for 12 weeks.

The biggest thank-you goes to my wife Barbara and daughters Nilsse and Stina, who provided the love, prayers, inspiration and motivation for my recovery. I love you and am truly blessed.

Jim (Petey) Peterson

Missouri Heights


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