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How a “Jersey Girl” overcame a scary injury with care from Inspira and the kindness of a stranger

How a “Jersey Girl” overcame a scary injury with care from Inspira and the kindness of a stranger

Dec 23, 2022
Hip Surgery

When Norma Denoble, a retired registered nurse, fell in her bathroom at around midnight, she knew she had broken her hip. What she didn’t know was what an ordeal the next 15 hours would be, how a stranger would help her that day, and how her Inspira care team - would come through for her, treating her with respect and dignity while treating her injury.

“I missed the handle I use to steady myself and down I went,” said Norma, 86, who lives in Cumberland County. “Now I’m a Jersey girl, very independent, and I’ve been taking care of myself for ages. I like to think of myself as tough as nails, but because of my medical background, I knew it was bad.”

Not able to move, Norma lay on the floor for what would turn out to be more than half a day before a gentleman who was delivering her recently repaired golf cart showed up at her door. By then it was 3PM and besides being in pain, she was cold. 

“I knew I was getting hypothermic, and this was my chance to get help, so when I heard him at the door, I yelled,” she said.

The delivery man called 911 and stayed with Norma until first responders arrived.

“It was a miracle,” Norma said. “He was so nice. He got me some water and waited with me.”

Despite her injury and long wait for help, Norma said she felt lucky at that moment. “I thought, ‘Somebody up there must like me.’”

Norma was transported via ambulance to Inspira Medical Center Vineland where orthopedic surgeon Eddie S. Wu, D.O., operated on Norma, inserting a rod to stabilize her hip. She was able to begin taking a few steps the next day before starting her rehabilitation.

Norma said that everyone at Inspira treated her in the same compassionate way that she tried to treat her patients during her career as a medical/surgical, private duty, and nursing home nurse. She also spent many years as a school nurse in northern New Jersey before retiring at age 66.

“Everyone was very accommodating,” she said.  “They respected my experience as a nurse. They made me as comfortable as possible and always asked before they did anything while I was in the hospital. They let me be a partner in my own care. I would ask if I could try this or that and they would be very obliging as long I was being safe.”

Norma said that her experience with Inspira in both Elmer and Vineland has been similar.

“Everyone on the staff seems to be happy. I know how hard being a healthcare professional can be. I always mention that I’m a nurse, but I get the feeling that they treat everyone that way,” she said.

Norma also said that her adult children, who live in New jersey, North Carolina, and West Virginia were willing to jump in and help after her injury, even offering to postpone a planned cruise vacation. She said with her own “can-do” attitude and the care she received at Inspira, she told them, “I’m a big girl. I know what’s going on. I’m OK. We can talk on the phone.”

Norma said she is working on regaining her strength and flexibility so she can once again drive herself to appointments and errands.

“I need my mobility. This wasn’t easy, but Inspira made it as comfortable as it could be. They really gave me excellent service. You get the sense that they really do care about people.”

Topics: Orthopedic Services