Like so many adults with aging parents, Joanna helps take care of her elderly
mother and stepfather. She pays bills, takes them to doctors appointments,
and helps them out around the house. “My parents still get along
really well on their own,” Joanna says. “When they do need
help, I try to be there.”
But Joanna wasn’t there when her stepfather’s left arm suddenly
went numb a few weeks ago. It was her mother, who suffers from dementia,
who had to act quickly get him the care he needed. And with the help of
some knowledgeable and caring folks at
Catawba Valley Family Medicine in Claremont (CVFM- Claremont), she was able to do just that.
With her husband navigating, Joanna’s mother drove him to the
CVFM - Claremont facility, where she got out and informed Administrative Assistant Brenda
Smith she thought her husband was having a stroke. Smith immediately called
911 and alerted the clinical staff, who assessed him right in the car.
That’s when Joanna’s phone rang. “I thought it was a
reminder for an appointment, so I almost didn’t answer it,”
she said. “When I did, they told me what was happening. They told
me the situation, that his arm was numb, and that my mother was okay.”
She was okay, but the stressful situation was making her feel more anxious
than usual. So staff at
CVFM-Claremont made sure to attend to her needs as well, comforting her until Joanna
arrived to drive her mother to the emergency room at Catawba Valley Medical
Center (CVMC). But the staff at
CVFM-Claremont didn’t stop there, according to Practice Coordinator Brianna Howell.
“When the mother parked her car, she left one of the windows down,”
Howell said. “We placed a bag over it, as a huge storm was coming.”
Joanna’s stepfather was, in fact, in the middle of an active stroke.
Luckily, he knew the stroke symptoms, and he knew he had to get help as
quickly as possible. Thanks to early detection, quick action, and effective
care, he was admitted, treated, and released from CVMC.
While the whole family is appreciative of the care they received, it’s
Joanna who is most grateful. “She came to the clinic yesterday and
tearfully thanked us for taking care of her father and watching after
her mother until she could get to her,” Howell said. “She
was grateful for the bag over the car window too. She even brought us
For the staff at
CVFM-Claremont and all
Catawba Valley Family Medicine practices, this was no extraordinary feat. Treating a patient always means treating
his or her loved ones with the same care they would show their own. As
Howell stated, “we treat all of our patients like family because
we are family!”
Catawba Valley Family Medicine has
15 locations serving patients all across the Catawba Valley. To locate a provider near
you, visit our
online provider directory.
Pictured Above (L to R):
Brenda Smith, Administrative assistant; Jennifer Robinson, Medical Assistant;
Lynne Laws, DNP