The day before Thanksgiving, Abby Stephan checked into UNC Hospital to have her pineal cyst fenestrated by Dr. Quinsey. In the months prior, she was experiencing headaches and numbness. She spoke to many different doctors before deciding that UNC was where she wished to have her procedure. She was able to tell just by speaking with Dr. Quinsey that these staff members would go above and beyond to make her as comfortable as possible.
When reflecting on her time in the hospital, Abby recalls how positive and attentive her nurses were. Because she was under their care on Thanksgiving Day, she originally thought some of the nurses may be upset that they were spending the day working, rather than spending time with their families. What she found was the opposite; the nurses all seemed so pleasant and happy to be there and taking care of her. This is something that really stood out to Abby and something that she remembers very fondly and clearly.
She particularly remembers her primary nurse, named Amy. Abby described this nurse as a “ray of sunshine” and someone who truly cared about her patients. She even gave Abby a few extra bottles of Johnson and Johnson’s shampoo to save her a trip to the store while recovering. These small actions made Abby feel like she was under the care of staff that would go the extra mile to provide the best hospital experience possible.
“I hope that I never have to have brain surgery again, but if I do, I know exactly where I’ll be going. It would be a pleasure to have brain surgery if I had the same staff and the same level of care.”
Now in recovery, Abby has been really excited to get back into running. She previously ran a half marathon, but after feeling symptoms related to her surgery in July, she decided to back off from exercising. Now that she’s been able to get back into it, she realized that exercise may have been something that she took for granted before her procedure. She now looks at it as something she gets to do rather than something she has to do and is eager to enjoy the warmer weather while getting active.
Overall, Abby stated that every aspect of her experience was amazing. She said, “I hope that I never have to have brain surgery again, but if I do, I know exactly where I’ll be going. It would be a pleasure to have brain surgery if I had the same staff and the same level of care.” Though brain surgery can be extremely difficult, Abby said she could not have had a better experience than she did at UNC Hospital because of the incredible staff.