Thinking Beyond

Beyond Health Moment: Jeffery’s Story

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“Beyond Health Moment” is a unique content series that allows us to celebrate the many incredible people that French Hospital has had the privilege to serve. Follow along to hear from patients, staff, and the SLO Community about their special Beyond Health story at French Hospital. If you have a Beyond Health memory to share with us please email us at fhmcfoundation@dignityhealth.org.

Jeffery’s Story

Ever since nearly drowning at the early age of two, Jeffery had required around the clock medical attention. And, over the past thirty-nine years of his life, his loving parents dedicated their lives to the caretaking of their beloved son. Earlier this fall, while passing through the Central Coast on the way to Disneyland for a birthday trip with his parents, Jeffery suddenly collapsed. Jeffery and his family eventually ended up in the ICU at French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC).

Therapy dog at French Hospital ICU with Disney ears on
“I see care being about the patient and the family and this is a great example of that—how we’re not just caring for Jeffery, we’re caring for his parents as well. Being part of this team is really being part of something bigger than yourself.” -Rosemary Bray, DNP, RN, CCRN, CNML
FHMC Senior Director of Nursing

While in the ICU, FHMC staff quickly fell in love with Jeffery and his family. The love that his family displayed was especially endearing to the ICU nurses. His affinity for laughing and life itself – along with his love for all things Disney— despite his grave reality was beyond inspiring to FHMC staff. His optimism regardless of his critical condition didn’t go unnoticed around the hospital, and as his birthday approached the staff wanted to make sure that it was extra special.

Musty the Mustang coming to visit French Hospital patient
“When I heard about it, I wanted to cry. I had to force myself not to cry because that’s so special to do for Jeffery.” -Susan, Jeffery’s mother

The FHMC team came together and pitched in to transform Jeffery’s room into a Disney-themed wonderland. They worked tirelessly on their own time to make sure they gave Jeffery the best possible birthday under their care.  After several attempts to get a Disney character to visit the hospital campus, the staff worked hard to use their resources to get Cal Poly mascot, Musty, to stand in and make an appearance. They celebrated with cake, laughs, and great company. It is this type of care that embodies FHMC’s incredible staff.

A few weeks later, we were informed that this would be Jeffery’s last birthday. Shortly after his discharge from FHMC, Jeffery passed away in the loving care of his mother and father. We dedicate this blog to Jeffery and the impact he had on FHMC staff, along with his parents who showed us an amazing example of faith and unconditional love.

French Hospital Staff at a Disney Theme birthday party they threw for patient

More About the Beyond Health Movement

Single-occupancy patient rooms, like the private ICU suite Jeffery was in, are key in the healing process for both patients and their families. Additional single-patient rooms will allow us to provide personalized and compassionate care to our patients and their families. In order to continue to provide this level of care for patients and their loved ones, FHMC works constantly to adapt to the increasing demand for health care on the Central Coast. Your New French Hospital will provide supplemental amenities for families and their loved ones while addressing the crucial need to bring SLO County residents the health care they deserve. Read more about Your New Growing Campus, one of the principal initiatives within the Beyond Health movement to revolutionize health care in SLO County.

French Hospital was originally built in the early 1970s with 3‐bed patient rooms. Today, single-patient rooms contribute to a better patient, family, and physician experience.

Our Plans for Your New French Hospital Include:

Ground Level – Lobby, Admitting, Dining, and Imaging Services

  • Welcome Center to greet patients and visitors
  • Private admitting area
  • New kitchen and dining area adjacent to the lobby with a garden-like outdoor space
  • New Imaging Department with the most innovative technologies, including advanced MRI

1st Level – Neonatal & Intensive Care Services

  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with 16 single patient suites, adjacent to the Stollmeyer Family Birthing Center
  • Addition of 10 Intensive Care Suites, adjacent to the existing ICU for a total of 21 suite

2nd and 3rd Levels — Medical/Surgical Services

  • 56 single-occupancy rooms for cardiac, oncology, and medical/surgical patients — the only single-patient rooms in SLO County
  • Healing views of San Luis Mountain from patient rooms and a rooftop garden terrace