Health Heroes: Ford grateful for Pratt medical staff who helped her battle COVID-19

Fran Brownell
Pratt Tribune
Pratt Hope Center Director Pam Ford is back at work after recovering from COVID-19 hospitalization. She said she is very thankful to Pratt Regional Medical Center physicians and staff for their service to community members.

Pam Ford, director of Pratt’s Hope Center, is a COVID-19 survivor who knows firsthand how brightly the Health Heroes spotlight shines in Pratt.

“There’s no question about it—Pratt is blessed with Health Heroes,” said Ford, who was hospitalized for five days at PRMC last November for treatment of the novel coronavirus. “I can’t say enough good things about how grateful I am for the care I received at PRMC.”

After being admitted to PRMC on Saturday, November 21, for treatment of COVID-19, Ford said she was treated in the PRMC Intensive Care Unit for COVID pneumonia.

“I didn’t have to be on a ventilator, but hospital staff always suited up in full protective gear each and every time they came into the room to check on me,” Ford said. “Through the hospital door window, I was able to see the staff member attending me gear up before entering and shed their protective gear when they left, so it could be sanitized for the next use.”

Ford said she had not been feeling well for several weeks last fall and was tested twice for COVID-19 in early November 2020 before a third test came back positive on November 12. By November 18, Ford said she was reporting daily to her physician Dr. Gene Cannata, who had prescribed medication and was monitoring her oxygen levels. Three days later, after she became incoherent and was taken to PRMC Emergency Room by her husband John Ford, Pam was admitted to PRMC ICU, being released Wednesday, November 25, to return home in time for Thanksgiving with her family.

Since recovering and returning to work, Ford said she often reflects with gratitude on the care she received at PRMC and is especially grateful to Dr. Cannata and Dr. Eric Clarkson for their care and compassion for her and her family.

“The care I received at PRMC made me realize how truly blessed we are to have our health workers on our side, right here in Pratt America,” Ford said.

Ford said she encourages Pratt residents to wear masks in public and to practice social distancing to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

“I believe in this way we can all strive to be health heroes to each other,” Ford said.

Masks are available for the asking at Hope Center, donated by local seamstresses who want to make sure face masks are available to everyone. The Hope Center at 314 South Main in Pratt is open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., serving as the hub for 70 resource agencies. Among agencies encompassed within the Hope Center umbrella of caring are Agape Health Clinic, Prescription Assistance Program, Paper Panty at Episcopalian Church, Medical Equipment Loan Closet Office, Salvation Army, Affordable Care Insurance Counseling and Hope Emergency Food Pantry. Donations in support of Hope Center are tax deductible, Ford said. Phone contact for the agency to request assistance or to volunteer services is 620-933-2166