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Coach Credits Texas Health Allen for Emergency Surgery Save

ALLEN, Texas — Krista Gerlich had a lot on her mind as her Lady Buffs team faced off in the Lone Star Conference Championships, but having emergency surgery wasn’t even on the list.

Krista Gerlich
Krista Gerlich

“I was in quite a bit of pain but with all the things going on I attributed it to stress and nerves,” she said. “I felt like I don’t have time for this.”

After the West Texas A&M University women’s basketball team’s win on Thursday, and at the urging of her parents, head coach Gerlich decided the stomach pains that had been lingering for a few days needed to be checked out.

At the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen emergency room, Gerlich was surprised to hear that she needed an emergency appendectomy.

“The hospital was incredible,” she said. “I had a game the next day at noon so I was like ‘how quickly can this happen.’ They really understood my urgency.”

Gerlich’s somewhat vague stomach pains, particularly on the right side of the abdomen, are pretty typical when it comes to signs of problems with the appendix, said Dr. James Smith, a general surgeon on the medical staff at Texas Health Allen who operated on Gerlich. “There’s very few things in medicine where there’s really only one treatment for it and appendicitis is one of those things,” he said. “The reason there is only one is it works.”

Gerlich said the caregivers and physicians on the medical staff worked together and because she was able to have her appendix removed laprascopically she was able to be released from hospital at 10 a.m. the next day. Sometimes patients whose appendixes are removed laprascopically may also be released the same day, depending on the time of surgery, Smith said. “She was young and healthy and took care of herself and that definitely helped her rebound.”

Gerlich wasted no time getting to the bench to coach her team at noon.

“Stories like Gerlich’s are a great example of how our caregivers treat each patient like a family member and work with them to meet each individual’s needs,” said Jeff Reecer, hospital president. “We are so pleased to have been able to help Coach Gerlich get back to her team.”

While Gerlich wished the weekend could have ended differently, both avoiding surgery and the heartbreaker of a loss by two points on Saturday, she said that the team at Texas Health Allen made the experience the best it could be. Even a quick visit back to the emergency room on Sunday for dehydration went smoothly.

“It was just a great experience,” Gerlich said. “Every nurse and doctor I came in contact with was awesome and very empathetic. They were just all really, really helpful.”

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen is a 73-bed acute-care hospital serving the northern Collin County area since 2000. The hospital’s services include women’s services, a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, orthopedics, pediatrics, wound care and sleep medicine. Texas Health Allen, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has more than 500 physicians on its medical staff practicing in more than 25 specialties. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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