Different families consider different amenities important when they are relocating to a new community. For some, it may be recreational sports; for others, proximity of fine arts opportunities; and for still others, access to churches, a library or a movie theater. When my husband and I chose DeWitt in 1972, it was a pleasant little town of about 4,000 residents, with friendly people and all the necessities we desired — including excellent schools and a hospital just down the street.
In those early days, with three children then kindergarten-age and younger, we did not know how often we would remind each other of the importance of having a hospital close by. The first week we were here, our 3-year-old developed an earache, and I packed up the morning kindergartner and the newborn to spend what I expected would be the whole afternoon at the doctor’s office with a feverish, whiney toddler and his siblings. After all, we were new and did not know a soul to ask a babysitting favor, let alone did we have a family doctor.
The kindly receptionist “worked us in” and soon our son was on the road to recovery, and my sanity was preserved. There were many other occasions when our family was able to be seen on short notice, and we always appreciated being able to fill prescriptions or have lab tests done right here in DeWitt.
For a time, we were frequent flyers in the emergency room and on a first-name basis with the x-ray tech as our well-rounded children tested their super powers. I learned to take stitches and casts in stride and became adept at wrapping appendages in bread bags so they would not get wet in the shower. Again, it was great to have our hospital just down the street.
I delivered Baby No. 4 at DeWitt Community Hospital. it was, by far, the best birthing experience of the four, made special because by that time, I had gotten acquainted in the community and knew some of the nurses and aides who cared for us.
When my husband developed complications from a blood clot after open heart surgery at another hospital, the local staff took special care of him until it finally became apparent he needed to be moved back to the larger facility to receive more extensive care. But the TLC he — and I — received is something I never will forget.
Fast forward 34 years, and I again was hospitalized just last fall in DeWitt — this time for double pneumonia. While it was not pleasant being ill, I received the best of care from friendly, caring staff who are very good at what they do and who did everything they could to make me comfortable. From the environmental services staff to the kitchen crew to nurses, aides and special technicians who monitored my health, I absolutely felt I was in the best hands.
Need a mammogram, blood work, a colonoscopy, cataract surgery or other procedure done? Chances are it can be done in DeWitt. But healthcare does not happen just at the hospital and doctor’s clinics. Patients seeking competent, friendly practitioners at dental, optometry and chiropractic offices, in physical therapy gyms and massage therapy salons will find them here as well.
Assisted living services are available at Maggie’s House, and the community is blessed to have several senior living complexes that cater to those who still live independently. And when skilled nursing care is indicated, Westwing Place is among the best in the country. My grandmother was a resident there for 22 years — until the ripe old age of 103 — a milestone I attribute to the wonderful care she received.
Yes, quality health care is abundant in DeWitt. I cannot imagine raising a family in a town without a hospital or other medical services that are not only convenient and easily accessible but also top-notch.
In the scheme of what really is important, amenities such as an aquatic park, a country club, a fitness center, and biking and walking trails go hand-in-hand with with medical providers to assure DeWitt Delivers health and wellness!
Mary Rueter – DeWitt Resident