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BRYAN FOUNDATION

Gift honors Steinmillers’ care

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stabilized, Don recalls a touching moment on Chotro and his wife, Debra with her doctor. “He came in the room and Steinmiller, moved away from made a point of thanking me for making Nebraska a long time ago. And it’s these care decisions,” Don recalls. “I was been almost eight years since they really struck by that. This man saved Lucille’s experienced care at Bryan Health. life, and he’s thanking me? He was genuinely But Bryan left such a powerful impression grateful that I could help him act quickly when with them that, all the way from Riverside, important decisions needed to be made. ” California, and after all these years, Don Lucille would need to go on to a rehab and Debra chose to make a generous legacy facility after her long hospital stay. In donation. coordinating her transfer, Debra saw that this For them, it’s a way to honor Debra’s level of compassionate service was by no parents. Though both have passed away, means limited to clinical staff. Kenneth and Lucille Steinmiller had lived “It took a long time for Bryan’s social in Lincoln since 1972, and several different worker and me to find the right placement for medical episodes brought them to Bryan’s my mother,” Debra says. “And all the while the doors. Each visit revealed the compassion and social worker was very gracious, very patient dedication behind the people at Bryan. and clear about the next steps. She wouldn’t “It comes down to the staff,” Don says. Lucille and Kenneth Steinmiller in 2000. settle until I was completely satisfied with “They know what they’re doing and they care where my mother was going.” about what they’re doing. You can feel it.” But a final episode brought the Steinmillers back to Bryan one Don and Debra first experienced that spirit of care in 1988. last time. About a year after her recovery, Lucille slipped while taking Kenneth needed a triple-bypass procedure, which can be harrowing a shower, and had to be rushed to Bryan’s emergency department. for a family to witness. Don was at Bryan to see the whole process. “They were so “I was stunned at how smoothly it went,” Debra said. “The heart efficient!” Don marvels. “The whole operation was so streamlined; surgeon and staff were so competent, and he was so good at talking they got her in immediately. Very few ERs are like that.” us through it. My dad had no complications whatsoever, no followLucille received stitches for a minor head wound. She went on to ups, and he lived for another 20 years. What more can you ask for?” enjoy decent health until she passed away some years later, in 2009. Don agrees. “I’m no stranger to surgery myself. I’ve been under In the eight years since then, memories of Bryan’s extraordinary the knife a number of times,” he says, “but the service at Bryan was care lingered with Don and Debra. They decided they wanted to something special.” support the future of excellence in health care at Bryan. Unfortunately, that would not be the last serious health problem “We want Bryan to use this gift however it will best serve the to arise in the Steinmillers’ lives. hospital,” Don says. “We trust the people at Bryan to make good In 2006, Kenneth lost a battle with cancer. And on that very decisions.” day, while Don was in Lincoln helping prepare for Kenneth’s funeral, And for Debra, the gift comes with a deeply personal Lucille suffered a massive blockage in her intestines. significance. Don will always remember. “It was a scary experience, with tragic “We want this to be a legacy for my parents,” she said. “They timing. Lucille wasn’t even conscious for her husband’s funeral. She were proud to be Nebraskans, proud to live in Lincoln and proud of ended up staying at Bryan for weeks — that’s how serious this was.” Bryan as a Lincoln institution. I hope this gift will help Bryan serve Don had to make a number of urgent care decisions while Lucille people for years to come.” n was unconscious. He felt prepared to do that, only because her physician was so thorough in his communications. To learn how you can support the work of Bryan Health, please “He made sure I understood the situation with absolute clarity,” contact the Bryan Foundation at 402-481-8605. Don says. “There was no uncertainty about what was needed.” When the immediate crisis passed and Lucille’s condition had

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Journeys | Fall 2017  

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