Thanks to all involved for excellent care of Magda Brown

Too often we focus on what goes wrong in our town. In the last two weeks, one woman’s accident brought out the very best in the Storm Lake community. When 90-year-old Holocaust survivor and BVU featured ACES speaker Magda Brown needed help, our community responded. Paramedics and police who arrived with the ambulance encountered a woman in immense pain from a fall while boarding a flight from Chicago to Sioux City. While Magda Brown’s sheer determination and commitment to her audiences resulted in her continuing on a journey that most would have abandoned immediately following the fall, by the time she arrived in Storm Lake she could neither sit nor stand without debilitating pain. An ambulance was summoned and Magda’s Storm Lake experience truly began. From the police and paramedics who came to King’s Pointe to do the first evaluation, to the attentive desk staff at the hotel, to the doctors and nurses in the BVRMC ER and hospital, each person demonstrated a sincere interest in Magda as a person and as a patient. My colleagues at BVU all pitched in with record speed and compassion in an effort to get help to her and her daughter Rochelle. And then, when Magda insisted that the “show must go on” — somehow — the technical staff at BVU worked wonders. With 30 minutes notice, Myckeal Rake figured out how to Skype effectively from the hospital ER to the “big screen” in Schaller Chapel. And, via that unusual medium, Magda touched her audience. Members of the community sent flowers to her room — including the SLPD who, in a truly lovely gesture, were waiting in the ER when I arrived back from concluding the BVU event.  They wanted to thank her and brought her a beautiful bouquet. Others sent email messages, brought homemade candy, and dropped by to say “thank you” in person.  Students and teachers who heard Magda speak followed up with flowers, emails and student-made cards. Our local press attended and wrote articles which, to quote Magda, “Captured perfectly the message [she] hoped all would hear.” As I write, Magda is traveling home to Chicago after what became a rather lengthy hospital stay, part of which she spent recovering from surgery to repair damage to her back caused by the fall.  Magda did not plan on spending an additional 10 days in Iowa, and certainly not in a hospital. However, she and Rochelle have only words of praise for the people of BVU and Storm Lake, and hundreds of Magda’s Facebook “likes and shares” have spread our unusual story far beyond our community. 

In this short note, I cannot thank individually everyone who deserves it.  However, paramedics Clint and Michelle, Dr. Kyle Glienke, the incredible nursing staff in the ER and on the second floor of the BVRMC, Myckeal Rake of BVU, and the SLPD Oct. 12 night shift cannot go without special notice.  To everyone else that we have encountered in this process, I am sorry that I cannot mention each of you by name but please accept this warm thank you.


Buena Vista University