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St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital Subacute Patient Receives Birthday Surprise

Hospital staff coordinates birthday celebration for patient amidst visitor restrictions

OXNARD, CA – May 28, 2020 – St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital (SJPVH) subacute care patient, Parry O'Brien, received a special gift when the subacute staff coordinated with her husband to surprise her with a birthday visit from her family.

Knowing Parry O'Brien's birthday was around the corner, Ed O'Brien wished to celebrate his wife's birthday. However, visitor restrictions presented a unique challenge for any elaborate plans. The subacute team at SJPVH worked with Ed O'Brien to organize a special birthday celebration for Parry O'Brien. 

On Parry O'Brien's birthday, her nurse wheeled her out to a window, where she saw a large poster outside wishing her Happy Birthday; alongside it stood her husband and daughters. Parry O'Brien started "blowing kisses" by puckering her lips and waving to her loved ones while the nurses read her birthday cards aloud to her inside the hospital. Martha Gonzales, Activities Coordinator for the subacute team, reported that Parry was extremely excited to see her husband and family, as she hadn't seen them for more than a month.

"We want our patients to be happy. Although many subacute residents cannot talk or move on their own, seeing a picture of their family or hearing their voice makes a patient's eyes open wider and you can see a reaction," says Gonzales. "We recognize this as a critical part of their care, and want to continue providing this essential support to our patients," added Agnes Padernal, Director of Nursing for the Subacute Unit at SJPVH.

Ed O'Brien used to visit his wife Parry in the subacute unit twice a week, bringing her fresh flowers during his visits. The coronavirus pandemic brought about abrupt changes, including patient visiting restrictions to long-term care facilities, even before the restrictions extended to other health care facilities. Padernal's team worked with the O'Brien family to ensure they stayed in touch, scheduling regular FaceTime calls using department iPads with Ed and Parry O'Brien. In addition to these virtual visits, Ed O'Brien calls his wife every afternoon to wish her goodnight.

"Our staff has done a tremendous job using their resources to ensure that our patients continue to receive care that extends beyond medical support," said Darren Lee, President and CEO of St. John’s Regional Medical Center and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital. "They have exceeded clinical expectations to provide for the overall well-being of our patients—a task that is made more complex due to COVID-19—and we are proud of these efforts."

SJPVH’s Subacute Unit is a 72-bed comprehensive care facility located adjacent to the main hospital. Our facility specializes in the care of ventilator and tracheostomy dependent patients. 
Professionally staffed around the clock, our experienced clinical team members deliver specialized care in order to provide our patients their best possible outcome.

[Photo: Parry O'Brien (left) is greeted by a Happy Birthday sign from her husband and daughters]


About St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital 
St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital (SJPVH) is an award-winning hospital in the heart of Camarillo with 50 acute care patient rooms and a 72-bed extended care unit. As a leader in stroke care, SJPVH is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and a recipient of the American Heart Association’s, Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. SJPVH houses Camarillo’s first-ever cardiac catheterization lab and the only hyperbaric medicine unit in western Ventura County. SJPVH’s Emergency Department is accredited as a Level 3 Geriatric Emergency Department and the Intensive Care Unit is a Bronze-Level Beacon Award winner. The SJPVH cancer program is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer for exceptional expertise and patient-centered care. We are proud to share our growing list of accomplishments, awards, and accolades. These prestigious recognitions are a testament to our dedication to delivering high quality, compassionate health care services to our community. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.  

Publish date: 

Thursday, May 28, 2020