The Militant Moderate has been interrupted recently because this writer has taken off for a three week hospital stay with triple by-pass surgery.

On Sunday morning, June 8, I was doing my thing, filling in as teacher of a seniors’ Sunday School class at Garland Road Baptist Church. Finding myself after class with a severe chest pain and clammy perspiration, which I thought to be indigestion, a friend drove us home. There my wife and son conspired to persuade me to go to the emergency room at St. Mary’s hospital. It would be three weeks and two days before I would emerge.

I began to suspect that something more was amiss when emergency room medical personnel began to spray nitro into my mouth. Dr. Brown, my cardiologist who installed my pace-maker, came Monday to do the heart catheter study, then much to my dismay turned me over to Dr. Agenon, the heart surgeon. As they say, the rest is history.

In spite of everyone’s best efforts, it was not a pleasant experience. As one friend said, “I have seen autopsies with less damage.” I don’t know about that. Pneumonia has complicated the situation. But medical and hospital personnel have tried hard to make it bearable and my recovery successful.

I am particularly appreciative of the doctors and the medical personnel at St. Mary’s for their services. For a person with my age and experience, it is still hard to believe that one can receive one of the most complicated of surgeries right here in Enid, Oklahoma. We are most fortunate to have a diverse set of medical specialists.

Interestingly enough, probably well more than half of the nurses attending me were R.N. graduates of Northern Oklahoma College. I took a certain pride in finding these to be competent, sensitive, and professional.

You see, I started the nursing program at NOC thirty years ago. It was an uphill battle with regulators, the nursing establishment, and the college financing system.

Good teaching and supervisory personnel were hard to find. I am certain that I spent more personal time with the academic, personnel, and administrative affairs of the nursing division than all other areas combined. Particularly, this was true in the early years.

Starting a program taking in 50 new students each year, and graduating 35 or more per year passing the RN licensing exam, was indeed ambitious. In fact, it was unheard of at that time, and various authorities kept telling us we could not do it. But we did.

Our goal was to supply the need for nurses in the medical community in northern Oklahoma, and we were already behind. The program has been somewhat expanded since, with the advent of the opening of the NOC-Enid Campus.

It was gratifying to see first hand the current results of those early efforts. The program is turning out more nurses than ever, and these younger ones are clearly knowledgeable and skilled.

In an odd sort of way, it was also gratifying that I was benefiting personally from those early trials and tribulations of getting the program started. The majority of those registered nurses serving me in St. Mary’s were graduates of NOC, and that made me proud.

Dr. Edwin E. Vineyard, AKA The Militant Moderate

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