Mary Kay LePage's Story
GBMC has been our family's hospital for more than 30 years. Our first major experience there was with our oldest daughter just before she turned three years old.
Katherine had the misfortune of having a folding kitchen step stool slam tightly on her right hand. After prying her hand loose, we raced to the GBMC Emergency Room to have it treated. We were so blessed to have the head of the emergency department take charge.
Katherine was so frightened and in a great deal of pain. She was treated with kindness and an abundance of medical skill. Somewhere in the event I, as a first time parent, asked if she would be able to do things like play the piano. The doctor responded with a smile that he wouldn't guarantee piano abilities since Katherine hadn't even begun to play the piano yet. His humor and good spirits kept us all calm.
The hand healed beautifully, and although she did not become a concert pianist, Katherine did become an architect of award-winning buildings, a sailor and an active member of the Baltimore Rowing Club, so that healthy hand is vital to her. Katherine also works as a cashier during the Nearly New Sale to help me, a GBMC volunteer.
Over the years, GBMC has been our go-to for healthcare. Our second child was born at GBMC, a couple of broken arms were fixed perfectly by Dr. Stewart Koehler, a neck fusion was performed by Dr. Reggie Davis, a hernia was repaired by Dr. Frank Rotolo and two knee replacements were completed very successfully by Dr. Lee Schmidt. Through it all, it was always very reassuring that we had access to such an excellent neighborhood medical staff.
Besides all of this, I have personally had a very fulfilling experience as a GBMC volunteer for over ten years. An injury to my inner ear which damaged my balance necessitated an early retirement from a career that I loved as a Branch Manager for the Baltimore County Public Library. Because I couldn't drive long distances, my world suddenly became very limited. I had to figure out a new direction in life and develop a different plan to use my skills and interests.
Since the hospital is so close to our house, it was the perfect location to volunteer and Nearly New presented me with a whole new group of friends, a wonderful way to help the neighborhood and plenty of new work challenges. Interestingly, as I became more active in Nearly New and the GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary, I found I was also able to increase part-time work back at the library, which I love.
I can definitely say that one door closed suddenly in my life, but another door opened to a wonderful unexpected volunteer adventure thanks to GBMC.