Suzanne Fischer-Huettner's Story
GBMC has held a special role in my life for as long as I can remember. My relationship with the hospital started when my sister was born on October 21, 1987, and I was 14 years old. Because my mother had my sister later in life, she felt I was old enough to be present for the birth. I have so much respect for my mom for including me in this special, life-changing experience.
My mother, step-father and I went to the birthing classes together and checked into the hospital as a group of three when she went into labor. As a young girl who did not know what to expect, I can honestly say it was a wonderful experience. The birthing room was very nice and the experience was not scary – more like watching a miracle. My family and I celebrated my sister Virginia's birth together, and I was included every step of the way. It was an experience I will never forget.
When I was a junior at Maryvale Preparatory School, part of our graduation requirement was fulfilling many hours of community service. I requested to help people and was partnered with GBMC. At least once a week I would spend a few hours volunteering in the recovery room at GBMC. As a young girl who did not know a lot about medicine, this was an incredible experience. I was able to see doctors, nurses and technicians at their best, and see the incredible level of care given to every patient.
My role was a simple one: make the patients experience a little brighter. This included simple tasks like holding a hand, making sure someone was warm and comfortable or feeding a patient ice chips. I basically was there to do whatever was asked of me, but looking back now, I was the person who was benefiting from the experience even more than the patients. I met kind people, young and old, who appreciated a smile or the warmth of a hand. Experiences like this and other community service opportunities helped to create the person I am today.
My next experience with GBMC was a difficult one, but only made more bearable by the staff at GBMC. My grandparents – Eugene and Carmella Marchesi – were the world to me. I loved and admired them in every way. About ten years ago, they both became sick within a year or so of each other. During the years that followed, my family and I spent a great deal of time at GBMC in various units. Every visit was stressful, but all were handled with the upmost care and concern. When we are watching loved ones go through difficult times, there is nothing more comforting than knowing they are in capable, caring hands – GBMC was sort of a home-away-from-home. No one ever wants to spend time in a hospital, but when you have to you want a hospital like GBMC.
Sadly, both of my grandparents passed at GBMC, but only after we knew every effort was made to make sure they were comfortable and cared for right until the end. For the past decade, I have also had lots to celebrate at GBMC. I am currently forty-one years old and, ever since I was about thirty, I have visited countless babies of friends and family born at GBMC. Every birth was different in its own way, but every experience was outstanding. My girlfriends and I proudly carry our green and white striped GBMC bags that we took home with our babies – our “medals of honor,” as we always say.
My husband and I decided to have our daughter, Isabella, at GBMC. We attended birthing classes, toured the hospital and felt ready shortly before her March due date. We are fortunate since I had an uneventful pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby girl on April 1, 2003. It was quiet in delivery the day Isabella was born, so we ended up with a large corner room with plenty of natural light in which our family and friends celebrated with us. I cannot say more wonderful things about the staff, nurses and doctors during my stay. GBMC has an incredible labor and delivery wing. I tell friends and family again and again that that is where you want to have your baby.
As you can tell, GBMC hospital has been there when I needed them for the past twenty-seven years. We are very fortunate and blessed to live in the state of Maryland where we have choices about excellent hospitals and health care providers. I am grateful for my positive experiences at GBMC.
Because I volunteered at GBMC as a teenager, I learned about compassion and the importance of helping others. Because I gave birth to my daughter at GBMC, I have been able to watch her grow into a beautiful, kind and intelligent young woman who I know will give back to the community in positive ways. Because my grandparents were treated at GBMC, my family and I were able to see them pass in peace.
Happy 50th to GBMC, and cheers to another 50!