Last October, Beth and her baby were struck by a car
When Beth Hartmann was brought to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in October 2017, she faced an uncertain future. On October 26, Beth was busy preparing for the Pumpkin Run 10k, a race she participates in every year. As she was crossing the street to return home from her latest workout, she and her then 1-year-old daughter, Rylee, were struck by a car.
She and her Rylee were transported to the emergency department at Advocate Lutheran General. Her husband, Tim, met the ambulance there, and so began the family’s months-long-journey at the hospital. Soon after arriving to the ED, Rylee was discharged, luckily with only a scrape on her face. However, Beth’s condition was much more serious.
Tim, who was in nursing school at the time and was doing a rotation on the pediatric unit at Advocate Lutheran General, was unable to see Beth for several hours while physicians determined the extent of her injuries. Eventually, the care team broke the news that Beth had suffered two brain bleeds and would need a craniotomy immediately. Dr. Robert Kellogg, a neurosurgeon, performed the operation, and Beth was transported to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), where she stayed for three weeks while physicians and nurses worked to stop the swelling in her brain. Once the swelling subsided, Beth was transferred to the Surgical Intermediate Care Center (SICC) and then to an extended care facility and finally began an eight-month rehabilitation program to address radial nerve damage in her arms.
Today, Beth has made an amazing recovery. She recently returned to work as a hairdresser, and Tim now works as a nurse on the cardiac telemetry unit at Advocate Lutheran General. The Hartmanns have raised funds to make and deliver care packages for family members of patients in the SICU. The kits include things like toiletries, water bottles, toothpaste, deodorant and pens and games. They raised enough money to provide 75 kits to families visiting the SICU, SICC and telemetry floors.
“I couldn’t imagine what my family and friends went through,” says Beth. “I hope that the care bins help take away the sting away from being in the SICU with a family member.”
Not only did the kits provide relief to families in need, but seeing Beth recovered and well enough to deliver care bins brought joy to the SICU nurses who helped save her life. It was a treat for nurses on the unit, who often don’t have the opportunity to see patients again once they leave their care.
The teamwork performed by multiple physicians, surgeons and nurses at Advocate Lutheran General combined with Beth’s fighting spirit helped the Hartmann family recover from a devastating event. They are grateful to all involved in Beth’s care and are glad to be part of the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital family.
About the Author
Colette A. Harris, health enews contributor, is the public affairs and marketing coordinator at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Il. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and has nearly a decade of experience writing about health and wellness, which are her passions. When she’s not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, cooking, reading, or traveling.