Rich Hampton

Their Team Was Key to My Miracle.

I contracted COVID-19 — my second bout of it during the pandemic — in late 2021. I know exactly when and where it happened. The infection took over within about eight to nine hours, and I told my wife, Michelle, “I think I’ve got something more than just a cold.” On Dec. 13, she brought me to Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics, where they tested me for COVID — it quickly came back positive. I ended up in the COVID wing and rapidly deteriorated from there. The severity of the infection made it difficult to get air into my lungs, which forced me to the ICU in Jacksonville.

Dr. Daniel Hallam was my attending physician. I remember distinctly the day he came into the ICU and said, “Rich, your respiratory system is failing. It’s failing quick. It’s just a matter of time. If we don’t ventilate you, you’re not going to make it.” I told him to go ahead and vent me. At that point, I just knew, come what may.

I was on the vent for 35 days, during which time I was heavily medicated, which left me completely immobile and decimated my body. Three different times, Michelle was called to Jacksonville because the providers were sure I wasn’t going to make it. But on Feb. 1, I was breathing well enough to be transferred back to Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics, where I began the long and difficult road to recovery.

“Once Rich came to Carlinville, that was the point when I took a deep breath and said, ‘OK, I know a lot of the people out here. They are going to understand not only what we are going through as a couple, but what he needs to recuperate and hopefully get back into a normal routine.’” — Michelle Hampton

The nursing and therapy teams established a routine for me quickly. I’d have five or six people in my room every morning for therapy — physical therapy, speech therapy, and respiratory therapy. It was great, but there were down times, and in those moments, recovering close to home made it easy for friends and family to walk in and visit for even 10-15 minutes. It made all the difference in my recovery. I feel very fortunate and blessed that the team at Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics has been a part of my recovery journey because without our local hospital, I guarantee that I would not be where I am today.

“I would love to think you would get this care at every hospital, but I know you don’t. I’m very glad and fortunate Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics is here.” — Rich Hampton

I was released from the hospital after 96 days on March 18, 2022 — and it wouldn’t have been possible without the compassion and expertise of the team at Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics. If there’s one thing I know, having been in management most of my career, the attitude of the employees is a direct reflection of management. To have such a caring team that loves what they do and who they care for is amazing. I would stack up the nursing staff and therapy team at Carlinville Area Hospital & Clinics up against anybody.

— Rich Hampton

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