“Surrounded By Friends” – Couple Receives Excellent Care at Fort Loudoun Emergency Room

  • 5 minute read.

Ken and Lela Johnson are Loudon County residents who recently moved to Tennessee. They enjoy the outdoors and moved from Florida after vacationing and falling in love with the area and the seasons – although they joke that they didn’t know what “allergy season” was until they came to East Tennessee.

As they settle into their new residence, the Johnsons already know which hospital they will always call home: Fort Loudoun Medical Center. After a recent experience in the emergency room, Lela says she has told all her friends and neighbors about the care and compassion they experienced at the hospital.

Ken hadn’t had high blood pressure as far as they knew, Lela says. “One day we were doing projects around the house, and he was on a ladder hanging a picture,” she recalls. “Nothing out of the ordinary, until his nose started breathing profusely and wouldn’t stop. Because of the amount of blood, I called an ambulance.” Emergency responders arrived and took Ken’s vitals, confirming that blood pressure was extremely high. They took him to the emergency room at Fort Loudoun Medical Center in Lenoir City.

“I followed behind in my car and went in the regular entrance to the registration desk. I was extremely concerned and anxious,” Lela remembers. “I was greeted by an employee named Krissy, and she took control of the situation. I told her why I was there, and she was succinct and deliberate in telling me what would happen next. She assured me that she would get me back to my husband right away.”

A retired banker who oversaw 12 branch managers and their staffs, Lela appreciated the high level of customer service. “Throughout our whole hospital experience, we were treated with empathy and attentiveness – even to me, and I wasn’t the patient! It was excellent. When someone provides excellent service, I make it a point to escalate recognition.””

Lela describes feeling worried about not knowing the outcome. “All the staff treated us with care and concern. And being an emergency room, I’m sure there were more serious cases happening behind closed doors. But I felt like they were friends who were checking on us. When we were put in a room, a volunteer came by and asked if she could bring me a drink or a snack. The housekeeper came in several times to make sure everything was OK and to clean because there had been a lot of blood loss.”

Emergency Team Cares for Patients “Like Our Own Family”

Emily Ingram, MSN-RN, is the nurse manager of the emergency department and critical care unit at Fort Loudoun. She says the entire ER staff is honored to care for each patient, and she knows her team is working hard to provide the best possible care.

Staff Photo FLMC Emergency Dept
The staff at Fort Loudoun Medical Center’s Emergency Department strives to be the first and best choice for the community they serve.

“We understand our role and responsibility as the emergency care center for our area and take that responsibility seriously,” Ingram says. “We spend many hours spent educating ourselves and looking for ways we can be better, all for the benefit of the community we serve.

“Our ER team is special because we take care of our patients like our own family. They go above and beyond, not just because it is an expectation, but because they are driven to care for our community.”

Lela notes, “Everyone knew what they were supposed to do, and they did it. It just worked. From the ‘first line of defense’ at registration, they made such an impression on me. Later, when we were in the room, I was watching a TV screen. It showed Krissy smiling and receiving an award. And I thought, that explains everything. She is so deserving of recognition for her patient care. We could not have asked for better attention.””

Once Ken’s bleeding was stabilized, he was evaluated and allowed to go home. Despite not needing further medical intervention, Lela and Ken wanted to express their gratitude for how they were treated. They later returned with a tray of cookies for the staff.

“It was a difference between feeling invisible and feeling seen,” Lela says. “We felt seen and heard. Even though it could have been much worse, I was in ‘crisis-mode,’ and they all just rose to the occasion. I was worried about my husband and then realized we were getting excellent care.”

Ken’s follow-up care included a visit to an ear-nose-throat doctor who cauterized a blood vessel in his nose. He has been feeling great ever since. “The ER made the arrangements before we left, so we had an appointment a few days later.

Both Ken and Lela Johnson attest: the gracious, comforting demeanor of the staff made their ER visit less scary. “I think God puts people in our path for a reason, and He knew exactly what we needed in that moment. It was delivered to us through the kindness of the hospital staff,” Lela says.

The couple says they will never forget the grace and mercy they were shown at Fort Loudoun Medical Center’s emergency department. Lela says, “It was just amazing to see it unfold, like we were surrounded by friends.”

For more information about services at Fort Loudoun Medical Center, please visit our website.

Covenant Health