Licking Memorial Health Systems - Measurably different...for your health
Patient Story - John Morgan

Although John Morgan was born and raised in Newark, he found love in New York.  John met his wife, Lenarose, online.  She fascinated him with her accent.  The two married and spent 25 years together, raising two children in Licking County.  In 2021, Lenarose contracted COVID-19 and was admitted to the Hospital for treatment.  Despite the efforts of the staff, she passed away from the effects of the disease.  John was devastated by the loss and began struggling with depression.

Earlier this year, John experienced a significant health crisis.  Due to depression, he was not eating or taking care of himself.  He began to feel weak and unwell.  His son convinced him to go the Licking Memorial Hospital (LMH) Emergency Department to receive assistance.  After several tests, the staff determined his sodium levels were dangerously low, a condition called hyponatremia, and he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Sodium is an important nutrient that assists regulating the balance of water in the body.  Most people receive sufficient sodium from the foods they consume; however, when someone stops eating, the levels of sodium in the blood may drop, especially if combined with excessive intake of fluids that are low in sodium.  To work properly, the kidneys require a certain amount of sodium.  Without it, excess fluids accumulate in the blood and cause cells to swell which can be dangerous in the brain by causing a change in mental status that can progress to seizures or coma.

“I did not understand the seriousness of the situation,” John said.  “It seemed very unreal to me at the time.  Some amazing people took care of me and I am grateful to them for seeing me through the crisis.  While I do not remember their names, I do remember their actions, especially that of the patient care technician who was very nice and assisted me in cleaning up.  There was also a nurse who spent a good deal of time with me answering my questions.  Being a nurse is a demanding job, and there were many others who probably needed his attention, but he stayed with me and carefully explained my treatment.  His reassurance and information gave me comfort.”

During his stay in the ICU, John received two special visitors.  “Gabrielle A. Farkas, M.D., and Ashley Frick, B.S.N., had cared for my wife while she was in the Hospital.  They were so caring and kind.  Neither of them were involved in my care during my stay; however, when they found out I was in the ICU, they both came to check on me which was encouraging.”

The road to recovery continues for John.  He has made several physical changes to ensure his sodium levels remain steady such as following a healthy diet plan.  “While the dietary changes were necessary, it was only a superficial change.  Not eating was just a symptom of a larger problem.  I am now working on recovering from my severe depression.”

Relying on input and personal assistance from several different programs, John is learning to change the way he perceives the events over the past two years.  By changing his focus and working to accept that bad things happen, John is making progress to becoming healthier overall.  “My best friend taught me an important motto, progress, not perfection,”  John shared.  “It is all about the progress.  If there is anything I could share with people, it is that we may always face some battles, but as long as we work hard and make even the tiniest bit of progress each day, then we are doing the important work in healing ourselves.”

He is currently working two jobs and keeping his mind and body occupied.  Through the trials of his illness, John felt supported by the those who cared for him at LMH.  “The staff is phenomenal.  They are very caring, and it is obvious in all they do,” he said.

| Posted On : 1/4/2024 12:21:09 PM