In April 2015, Jeannie Critchley was coming to the end of another school year and looking ahead to summer on Nantucket. But Critchley, who has been a teacher at Nantucket Elementary School for nearly 30 years, was about to receive some health news that would change her life.
After a routine mammogram at Nantucket Cottage Hospital and follow-up tests, Critchley was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. After the initial shock and deluge of information about her condition, Critchley and her physicians agreed on a plan that included two surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation.
It was daunting to say the least. “The fear factor, the worry, and wondering what will this be like, it was pretty intense,” Critchley said. “I had ideas in my head from TV and movies about what it would be like, and it was really intimidating and scary.” After a gauntlet of surgery and radiation over the following year, Critchley was relieved to discover that she could do her chemotherapy and many of her oncology consults right here on the island thanks to Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s partnership with the Mass General Cancer Center.
“I had been thinking about the travel, the time, and the physical toll it takes to go back and forth with the boat ride and traffic and the whole thing,” she said. “So that was the best piece of information, that I would be able to do my treatment here.” (more…)
Longtime island residents Sean and Alli Mitchell have a growing family. Over the past two years, the Mitchells have welcomed two healthy boys to their family – Thomas and Patrick – who joined them and their three dogs under one roof. Sean, a member of the Nantucket Fire Department, and Alli, a property manager, have become well acquainted with Nantucket Cottage Hospital during this time.
“I wasn’t someone who used the hospital too much in the past,” Alli said. “But now? You’d have to pry me off this island to have a baby anywhere else!”
Beyond their experiences at The Birthplace, the Mitchells know that their family and the community they love depend on Nantucket Cottage Hospital in so many ways. From routine check-ups with their children’s primary care physician, to visits to the Emergency Department or the Walk-In Care Service, the hospital has given them the confidence to build their lives on Nantucket. (more…)
As published in the March 2nd edition of The Inquirer and Mirror:
To the editor: I recently had surgery at Nantucket Cottage Hospital. I’d like to thank Dr. Monto and his entire staff (Jen, Meg, Tara and Keri) for easing my fear and pain and making me look on the brighter side of things. A truly awesome staff. I can’t speak highly enough of them. (more…)
Kathy Sherman, right, with NCH oncology nurse Jane Kelly
For Nantucket resident Kathy Sherman, the initial shock of her breast cancer diagnosis was followed by a deluge of information about the disease, treatment, as well as how and where to access the medical care she needed.
“People don’t know how hard this is or how much you have to go through until it happens to them,” Sherman said.
Her anxiety eased when she learned about Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s partnership with the Mass General Cancer Center, which provides island patients with oncology services, including chemotherapy, close to their homes and without the burdensome travel to the mainland.
Today, Sherman is being treated at Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s infusion clinic with chemotherapy, and has monthly appointments with MGH oncologists who travel to the island to see NCH patients.
“I can’t say enough – they’re just fabulous here,” Sherman said. “I know a couple people who’ve come down with cancer and I told them ‘why are you going to Boston? They put the same thing in you up there as they put in you here.’ With what you have to go through, it’s just easier to go home, lay down in bed and not be travelling.” (more…)
“The irony of spending hours in the ER at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital, afternoon into early evening, on the day that the island’s biggest fundraiser for the Nantucket Cottage Hospital with the Boston Pops was being held, was not lost on me.
This served to sharpen even more the critical need all of us have to have a beautifully functioning, efficient and medically competent hospital in place. For that was what my houseguest and I found Saturday afternoon. Head over handlebars on an unfamiliar bike brought my friend in, walking into the ER having trouble breathing, in pain, bearing the mark of this accident with obvious scrapes and bloody leg and arm. We had barely sat down at the first step of admittance when a nurse appeared to check vital signs and importantly, listen for signs of a collapsed lung. The wonderfully compassionate and smart admissions person had called in for immediate examination. Thankfully, no collapsed lung, so into waiting room we went. (more…)