"Martinsville Hospital is a nice place to be treated."
Long before John was diagnosed with cancer, he was thinking of moving to Ridgeway to be closer to his daughter and grandchildren. A recently retired city planner with a former career in the army, John had lived in many different areas, including Northern Virginia and Germany. Many of his friends urged him to move to a larger metropolitan area with greater access to large institutional healthcare. Even John was somewhat skeptical of what a community hospital like Sovah Health - Martinsville could offer him.
In June 2012, John's family physician Dr. Pat Favero of Martinsville Family Medicine saw an irregularity in his bloodwork. John was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell.
For three months beginning in July, John started chemotherapy at Ravenel Oncology Center with Dr. Katragadda before going to Duke for a bone marrow transplant in November.
John recalls it being a very traumatic time when he began receiving cancer treatment; however he appreciated the staff addressing his various needs and concerns.
"The people [at Ravenel Oncology Center] mean more to me than anything else. That's the key. I used to come in here every week for three months, and they knew me because of that. But now I come in every other month. I thought they wouldn't remember me, but they do."
John has been pleasantly surprised that his healthcare experiences at Sovah Health - Martinsville, a small community hospital, have rivaled many larger, reputable hospitals.
In particular, John has appreciated the convenience of having the oncology clinic here in Martinsville with Dr. K in close communication with his physician and team down at Duke.
But John's encounters with Sovah Health - Martinsville don't just end with the Ravenel Oncology Center. Recently, he was rushed by ambulance to the emergency department after passing out, and he had to be admitted for additional testing.
"I thought, 'I don't want to stay overnight at Martinsville Hospital,' but how wrong was I? Even the people that came in and swept the floor and emptied the waste baskets were friendly. The people that brought the food...the nurse that came to my room at 3 a.m. to check my blood...they were all great."
Today Mr. Morgan is in remission, and is on maintenance therapy to keep the cancer away.
When he moved to Henry County, John never quite knew how his local hospital would be there for him, but now he wants his community to know that "Martinsville Hospital is really a nice place to be treated."