Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 5, 2014

County resident shares support of hospital tax

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — There will be some who will need until election day on March 4 to determine whether or not they will support a half cent sales tax for Pauls Valley General Hospital.

However, for others like Garvin County resident Frances Myers, it’s a no-brainer not only because of how much she’s seen it do elsewhere, but also PVGH saved her life.

Living a good number of miles from any nearby town while requiring emergency medical care on several occasions, she’s had the unique experience of seeing both what can be done despite the struggles at the facility here and how much benefit can come elsewhere if people can put aside a little extra to keep needed care around.

“I will say that my care in that hospital was exemplary, you couldn’t ask for better,” said Myers, who lives near Prairie View.

“That half a cent is important, it will help if it is managed right.”

It was nearly a decade ago when Myers’ life hung in the balance due to what turned out to be a heart attack and when she was given a choice of hospitals, picking the one that made all the difference.

She noted how she feels particularly lucky since she had to be revived three times after her arrival there and is not confident at all that if more time had been taken to go to a larger facility further away, she would have had any better chance at surviving.

“If we don’t have a hospital in Garvin County, it doesn’t matter that outlying hospitals are good hospitals.

“If you don’t get immediate help you have no chance of survival in case of heart attack,” said Myers, adding how being flown by helicopter to somewhere like Oklahoma City would have taken time to gain the approval of a doctor there, versus not having that requirement here.

“They gave me 30 percent chance of survival on helicopter, but I wouldn’t have had those odds at home…had I not been in that hospital, I would not be talking today.”

As far as seeing it work in action, she mentioned Sulphur’s facility and how the Chickasaw Nation managed to bring a quality of care and in part because of a similar tax. It’s not a matter of whether or not it will work here for her, but something that could have done a lot of good if it had been taken seriously years ago.

In fact, in the two other times Myers came to the facility here over the years, including when her appendix burst, she considered those positive experiences as well.

She has taken these lessons to heart and put in place steps to improve her health like stopping smoking.

In the end, Myers believes that the first thing will be to get it passed and then focus on rebuilding where necessary. She pointed out how it certainly isn’t going to get any better if the city keeps borrowing.

“What’s half a cent on the dollar,” said Myers. “It’s not going to hurt the people of Garvin County. They should have voted this in 10 years ago.”