Health care workers deserve our gratitude Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Apr. 16, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

On March 16, I was taken unconscious to University Hospital in Madison, suffering from heart, kidney, and lung failure.

I still don’t remember my first two days in the hospital. When I regained consciousness, I was shocked to find myself in the ICU with tubes connecting me with life-support systems.

The doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff communicated well with me. (I couldn’t have visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic.) They said I had been given a coronavirus test — among many other tests. The coronavirus test came back negative.

However, I was kept in the ICU for most of my 10-day stay in the hospital. It was partly for my protection from the patients who did have the virus.

Fortunately, Fr. Steve Kortendick, the hospital chaplain, was able to give me the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, which gave me a sense of peace.

Thanks to health care providers

I can’t say enough about the health care providers at the hospital. They kept up my spirits and treated me with compassion.

Gradually the life support was taken away, and by the weekend I was able to eat and sit in a chair in my room.

Several of the doctors and nurses visited me before I left the hospital and told me they were amazed at my recovery.

Being in the hospital during this time made me appreciate these health care providers even more. They are risking their own lives to care for those who are sick. They certainly deserve our deepest gratitude.

Power of prayer

Besides the health care workers, I think the power of prayer also helped me recover. So many people, from Bishop Donald Hying and Msgr. James Bartylla, the diocesan staff, my family, friends, readers of the Catholic Herald, and many, many other people prayed for me. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart!

Msgr. Ken Fiedler, my pastor at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison, encouraged the parish staff and parishioners to pray for me. He talked with my husband John and he also called me at the hospital.

Some of my family members also prayed for the intercession of the Venerable Fr. Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP, the Italian missionary who founded many parishes in our diocese. My husband John and I had attended the tribunal at the Sinsinawa Mound where a miracle attributed to Father Samuel was approved. We knew the power of his intercession.

Special thanks

I want to give special thanks to my husband John for his ongoing support; our daughter, Elizabeth, who came to stay with John to help at our home during my hospitalization and recovery; and our son John for keeping in touch with us during this time.

I also give special thanks to Kevin Wondrash, assistant editor of the Catholic Herald, for his work in getting the paper out during my absence. Also thanks to Steve Hefty, Angela Curio, and retired Associate Editor Pam Payne for their work.

It is important that the Catholic Herald continues to be published during the pandemic to give important information to people in our diocese. We thank Bishop Hying for reaching out to the faithful with his video messages and livestream Masses, liturgies, and Rosaries. I myself have found these very inspiring, especially during Holy Week.

I encourage everyone to pray for the health care workers who are putting their lives on the line to care for people during the pandemic. Let’s also pray for all those who have the coronavirus that they recover, and pray for those who have died and their families.

This is a difficult time for all of us, but we will get through it with God’s help.