Tulare resident finds relief and comfort in hometown hospital

Jun 26, 2020


For Robert Martinho Hernandez, having a full-service hospital in his hometown of Tulare was a blessing he didn’t imagine he would one day need.

“The drive was going to be painful and the hospital is a block away, so that’s where we went,” said Hernandez.

In May 2020, Hernandez was overcome by severe pain in his stomach that he could not identify, nor shake. Having been diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2012, begun hemodialysis in 2019 and most recently peritoneal dialysis in April 2020, Hernandez knew he needed urgent medical care. The convenient location of Adventist Health Tulare led him to visit the Emergency department.

“My goodness was I impressed,” said Hernandez. “I received the best care I’ve had in quite some time.”

After his mother drove him to the hospital, Hernandez was immediately admitted in the Emergency department, where a team of providers, led by emergency physicians Ashleigh Kennedy and Daniel Brown, began his treatment. Thanks to the hospital’s door-to-doctor time of seven minutes, the team quickly administered antibiotics to stop the pain and begin Hernandez’s recovery. Having stabilized his condition, the Emergency team transitioned from providing immediate medical attention to round-the-clock observations.

Hernandez recalls several individuals who offered compassionate care, including emergency technician Austin Gamboa, who joined the department this year. Gamboa not only kept Hernandez informed of all the developments in his care, he ensured Hernandez was comfortable in his private room and received meals during his stay.

“Austin is a staple of excellent patient care in the Emergency department,” said Hernandez. “He is who you want emergency technicians to be modeled after.”

Being a former emergency technician, himself, Hernandez recognized the passion Gamboa and the entire team feel for their patients.

“They asked questions about my health, how I was feeling and told me I was just as important as everyone else,” said Hernandez. “I’m grateful, I’m thankful and they really put me at ease.”

Hernandez was released from the hospital before the day was over and has been pain-free since his return home, which he attributes to the quick response of the providers, nurses and technicians at Adventist Health Tulare.

An active member of the community and advocate of all things local, he remains grateful for the access to 24-hour emergency care, minutes from his home.

“Now I know I can go to Adventist Health Tulare and get the quality care I deserve,” said Hernandez. “I hope others choose to experience the care available in their own back yard, when they need it.”