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Former patient remembers accident by donating socks

By Ellie Callinan, For The Miami Student

McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford, Ohio recently received a thank you letter accompanying a box full of 51 socks from Marne Kinney Parmelee, a Miami University graduate and a former patient of the hospital. Parmelee was involved in a serious accident 30 years ago from this past November, when she was hit by a drunk driver at night while walking back to campus from Uptown.

Parmelee and a group of her friends were crossing over High Street in 1984 when a truck drove right toward them and did not stop. The driver, a then-university staff member, hit Parmelee, flipping her onto the hood, and she was thrown back onto the ground. He tried driving away, but someone in the group stopped him.

"They thought I was dead -they outlined me in chalk. My pulse was so low they couldn't find it," Parmelee said.

After realizing she was still alive, Parmelee was rushed to McCullough-Hyde where they identified several critical injuries.

She suffered three pelvic fractures, major facial contusions, a concussion and a fractured knee. The doctors warned her about the seriousness of her injuries, explaining she may never walk again or have children, and may need major plastic surgery to repair her facial wounds.

Parmelee spent five days in McCullough-Hyde, where she received care from several doctors and nurses.

"They bent over backwards to accommodate whatever I needed," Parmelee said.

A combination of McCullough-Hyde staff care and Parmelee's commitment to recovery helped her overcome the accident, she said.

Parmelee has since defied the doctors' predictions. She walks, she has two children and her facial contusions have healed. She said she now lives a normal, happy life in Rochester, New York, where she teaches kindergarten in a violent and impoverished area.

When McCullough-Hyde first received Parmelee's thank you letter and a box full of sox, they felt honored and appreciated to be remembered in such a positive light.

Pam Collins, vice president and chief patient services officer at McCullough-Hyde, and Katie Estes, executive assistant to the CEO, did their part to show the staff how much of an impact effective nursing can have. They made copies of the letter and personally delivered them to units where she may have been a patient.

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"So often we never know about the difference that we make. We take care of patients every day, day-in and day-out. But in this case, even though these nurses may not have known her, it just fills up your cup and makes you want to continue to do the work that you do because of the difference that we make," Collins said.

Parmelee she revealed that she decided ot donate socks they were for patients of the hospital who had to learn to walk again, just like her. She remembers that the floors were often cold and slippery.

Additionally, she has several family members who had to undergo rehabilitation and experienced swollen feet from walking without socks. Parmelee wanted to make sure that patients had comfy, warm and non-skidding socks.

Although McCullough-Hyde has yet to pass out the socks, the hospital staff anticipates a positive response. The hospital staff intends to make the socks more memorable by attaching small tags that tell Parmelee's inspiring story.

They believe the socks and Parmelee's story will create a personal touch to the hospital care that will encourage patients in their recovery.