On behalf of the family of Vicki Chafin Strickland:
Losing a loved one is never easy; however, when the loss is unexpected, it somehow seems to be much more difficult. On Friday, June 26, our lives were forever changed. Our mother, Vicki Strickland, suffered a massive heart attack and was taken by ambulance to Colquitt Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room. It was determined, while she was in the ER, that due to the lack of oxygen to her brain as a result of the heart attack, she suffered some brain damage. On Monday, June 29, while she was in ICU, the severity of the brain damage was explained and confirmed. We (her four children) were tasked with making the most difficult decision of our lives.
There are simply no words to express the compassion and professionalism that we experienced at Colquitt Regional. From our time spent in the Emergency Room to the days spent in the Intensive Care Unit, we were treated with kindness and quite honestly, as family. Each doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, laboratory technician, cafeteria staff member, office staff member, and so many others that I am sure I have failed to mention was absolutely amazing. Most specifically, we would like to thank Dr. Weeks, Dr. Lopes, Dr. Ukpong, Dr. Posey, Dr. Myrtil, nurses: Dale, Hazel, Denver, and so many others whose names I cannot remember now but are surely in our hearts. Thank you to Rainmeya Harris, Laci Jarrell, Lacey Webb, and Caitlin Alligood for your kindness and compassion as we said goodbye to Mama in the operating room. We will never forget your being with us during this time. Thank you, Jim Matney, for allowing us to “bend the rules” and have our family with us as we said goodbye to Mama. Hugh Ward, your prayers and kindness will never be forgotten. Thank you, Beth Skidmore, Cori Norman, Allison Young, Lacey Herndon, and others who checked on us between their shifts. To the ladies and gentlemen who checked temperatures and provided face masks at the entrances, thank you for understanding our family’s needs as you worked to follow regulations regarding the precautions surrounding Covid-19. Many thanks to everyone who lined the halls for the Honor Walk to honor Mama for her organ donation. There are quite simply no words to express our gratitude to everyone who blessed our family during our time at Colquitt Regional. If we have failed to mention you specifically by name, please know that we have not forgotten you, and your faces are forever ingrained in our hearts and minds.
Mama was an organ donor, and when asked if we wanted to participate in the donation process, we did not hesitate to say yes. You see, Mama was a giver; she loved her family fiercely and would have done anything for any of us. We knew that she would have wanted us to respect her wishes to help others at this time. My siblings and I are organ donors as are our spouses and children; however, we didn’t know anything about the actual process of organ donation. After speaking with the doctors at CRMC about our decision, a representative from Lifelink came to speak to us about the process. We learned that very few families choose to donate their loved ones’ organs although many are actually organ donors. The nurses from Lifelink explained the process thoroughly in a compassionate and respectful manner. Everyone involved in the organ donation considered our feelings and treated Mama with the utmost respect throughout the entire process. As we said our Earthly goodbyes to Mama on June 30, other families were rejoicing for her life-giving organ donations, and although we are heartbroken that Mama is no longer with us, we are humbled to know that she has given the ultimate gift of love to the recipients of her organs. Please join us in praying for the recipients of Mama’s organs that they may receive complete healing and enjoy full and happy lives surrounded by their families and loved ones.
With all that is going on in the world around us, we can take comfort in knowing that our community is blessed with such an amazing facility as Colquitt Regional Medical Center. The healthcare workers and support personnel that are employed there are true heroes and blessings to our community.
Lee Causey, Angie Roberts, Carrie Norman, and Beau Jarrell