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8th Annual FRHS Foundation Gala a Success

More than 100 items were auctioned off, Michelle Hofer offered a personal testimony as to the importance of Freeman Regional Health Services (FRHS) and administrator Nick Brandner spoke about major improvements being planned at the local health care facility as the eighth annual FRHS Foundation Gala played out at the Freeman Community Center Saturday night, Jan. 28.

While the number of guests was down slightly, the formal event featuring fine food and wine drew more than 100 guests from the community and generated at least $26,000 for the foundation, said director Ruth Strasser. That includes proceeds from the donated items on the auction block, as well as cash. “I thought the evening went very well,” she said. “We had a great group of people. This continues to be a good event; it’s a celebration of community. That’s a big part of it.”

Michelle Hofer knows all about the benefit of having an organization like FRHS available. Saturday night she offered a personal and emotional perspective on how important FRHS has been to her and her family; that includes her husband, Colin, their two daughters, and her parents, Caroll and Glenda Langland.

“I’ve been wondering if my family has more health issues than the average family,” she said. “We do have quite a repertoire of using the services here in Freeman.” She noted that included two premature births, severe migraine headaches and kidney stones. And she acknowledged the value of the counseling services provided there by Wellspring Wholistic Care Center “Don’t be afraid to let a caring person listen to your struggles, and give you some tools to help you maintain your mental and emotional health,” she said.

The compassion of the capable staff was a common theme in Hofer’s comments, but none was more touching than the story about her mother, Glenda.

After a fall two years ago in November, Hofer’s mother went to the emergency room at FRHS “to check things out.” Although it didn’t appear to be too serious, the doctor on call decided to run a CT scan and, Hofer said, “that’s when things did get more serious.” The scan showed bleeding on the brain and a helicopter was called to transport her to Sioux Falls. “Soon my mother was on her way to Sanford’s Neurology Intensive Care Unit,” she said. Brain surgery was performed and “ultimately, Mom survived a ruptured brain aneurism with some significant complications.”

With only a 10 to 15 percent chance of survival, Hofer calls her mother’s recovery “miraculous.” She notes the power of prayer and support of family and friends in that outcome. But she also noted the vital impact of health care providers. “I believe the presence of a local emergency room, with quality care, is critical to my mom’s story. Imagine if that ER was not there. What would my parents have done? Most likely, if they would have had to travel a distance, and it didn’t really seem too serious, they might have decided to just stay home and hope for the best.”

Following her surgery and initial therapy in Sioux Falls, Langland continues to receive therapy at FRHS. “This has been such good support for my parents and our family,” Hofer said. Hofer then shared the unexpected discovery of a note written for her mother. “Here was a note of affirmation for my mother, written on a prescription pad from the Freeman clinic, written by one of the practitioners, I suppose,” Hofer said. It read: I am kind, loving, gorgeous, warm, smart and welcoming. My smile glows. My husband is my person, my memory and my guide. That’s OK; I trust him. “For a moment I was stunned to hold such a kind gesture,” Hofer recalls. “Such an example of grace bestowed and depth of care. That little note gave me peace and encouragement.

“Today my Mom suffers primarily from short-term memory issues. She requires constant supervision,” Hofer said, but is able to do many of the things she enjoys. “The fact that my Mom has regained her physical mobility and the majority of her cognitive abilities ... is the result of God’s miraculous healing … prayers of friends and family … but also the solid care administered to her all along the way by skilled health care providers including those here in Freeman, a care that continues today.

“Most of us live just minutes from this health care facility. What if it was no longer there and vanished into the mist like Brigadoon? What would we do then? What would our options be? “I can’t imagine my life without the services and incredibly gifted, talented people of Freeman Regional Health Care who work there.

“Over this past Christmas holiday, friends of ours in the community had a daughter in immediate need of medical attention. And they did what you do around here; they went to the Freeman Emergency Room. And when we saw them the next time we were together, we asked them to tell us the story. My friend says, ‘Thank God for that little hospital, and as he’s saying that, he’s pointing to the hospital here in Freeman. And then he adds, ‘What a blessing!’

“I simply couldn’t agree more,” Hofer said. “Amen, brother.”

      - Article written by Freeman Courier

 

                               Guest Speaker - Michelle Hofer (right)                                                         Freeman Regional Board of Directors - Lori Uecker (left)