Emergency Department - Bernadette's Story

Caring for Shingles & So Much More

Bernadette DeFlacoBetter Health Member, Bernadette DeFalco, 78, could not say more about the outstanding service she received in the Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus (MMCSC) Emergency Department. On the day after Easter she was caring for her daughter in New York who had just undergone surgery for a C6 and C7 disc herniation when she started to feel pain radiating from her neck down her arm. She teased her daughter that she had caught the pain from her but as the day went on she knew it was more serious than any joke. By the end of the day she knew she needed to be home in Lakewood and by the following day her husband of 58 years, Joe, was driving her to the MMCSC Emergency Department (ED).

When Bernadette arrived in the hospital in an immense amount of pain she was ushered to an ED room and a medical work-up began immediately. An X-ray was done to make sure the pain wasn’t related to her bones, but ultimately the physician’s initial thought was correct and Bernadette was diagnosed with Shingles, a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Bernadette recalls that the pain felt as though she was being hammered from the inside out from her shoulder to her thumb. Although she’s given birth to five daughters and endured three open heart surgeries, Bernadette says that Shingles was by far the worst pain she’s ever had. Although the pain was excruciating, she feels that she couldn’t have asked for a better place to be than Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus.

“From the moment I checked in at the reception desk to the time I was discharged everyone was so wonderful,” Bernadette said. “I felt as though my own kids or grandkids were caring for me, making sure I was comfortable and informed during the entire process. When you’re in the hospital feeling sick and afraid it makes such a difference to have a friendly face and a caring smile at all times.”

After several weeks of recovery, Bernadette is back on her feet playing bocce, rummy and mahjong in the clubhouse at The Fairways. She recognizes this is not the case for many Shingles sufferers and thanks MMCSC for the care she received while in the hospital as it has allowed her to get back to her active lifestyle. Bernadette plans to continue her relationship with MMCSC by using their outpatient services such as blood draw and the newly renovated Jacqueline M. Wilentz Breast Center for her next mammogram.

“I’ve seen a large change in this hospital just within the past year,” Bernadette said. “I’m very happy with the service I received and I’m grateful for the proximity to my home. I have been and will continue to be recommending Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus to all of my friends because I know they will be treated with the same dignity and respect I was given during a very scary time.”

For more information on the MMCSC Emergency Department, call 732.886.4525.