August 28, 2018

After a big-hospital experience, patient recognizes the AVH difference

Few patients have a greater appreciation for Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) than John Runne. That’s because several years ago, he had total hip replacement surgery performed at a large hospital in Denver. The surgery seemed to go well. In the weeks afterward, however, John was diagnosed with a dangerous post-operative staph infection that left him unable to walk and required three additional surgeries, including a second replacement of the affected hip.

Carbondale resident John Runne felt like “a million bucks” after his hernia surgery and recovery at Aspen Valley Hospital.“I had a great deal of experience being at a big hospital,” John said. “It’s very trying to lose almost three years of your business career and activity with your family. It was a very depressing series of events.”

Eventually, John healed and was able to go on with his life. And then soon after he and his wife moved to Carbondale in April 2017, he was diagnosed with a hernia. His primary physician referred him to Lesley Fraser, MD, General Surgeon at AVH, and friends seconded the recommendation.

Given the painful journey after his hip replacement in Denver, John admitted to having some trepidation about having surgery again. However, he scheduled a consultation. “All of my apprehensions went away as soon as I walked through the door and met Dr. Fraser,” John said. “From that point, I had no doubts, fears or concerns. It was pretty amazing. That was my first surprise!”

Other happy surprises were in store. For example, John was comforted to learn that AVH has a post-surgery infection rate far below state and national averages. On the day of his hernia surgery, he was “amazed at the care and kindness from every person on the staff, from the registration desk to the recovery room,” John said. “Having been in a large hospital where I had to hit a buzzer every time I needed help, I was really impressed to see the dedication and attention of the AVH staff.”

The surgery itself was a resounding success, with John reporting that he suffered no postoperative pain and “felt like a million bucks” just one week later. “All in all, my experience at AVH was phenomenal,” he said. “I came to the right place."
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