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