All my life I had been told to avoid Ashe Memorial Hospital. Anytime anyone in my family had a medical need, we have more often than not driven elsewhere. Needless to say, I had a poor opinion of the hospital and the care given there.

On July 30, that all changed when my family and I started a 10 day journey that began with me rushing my Mom to that very hospital that I and many others had avoided in the past.

On the way, my Mom’s condition worsened and she wanted me to call 911. The dispatcher was calm and walked me through several questions as she dispatched an ambulance to meet us and to start initiating critical care. The EMTs acted quickly to assess the situation and then reassured Mom everything would be ok.

After arriving at the ER and having labs and a CT scan, the surgeon on call, Dr. Charles Jones, was contacted. Dr. Jones explained Mom had a double bowel obstruction and would require emergency surgery. Dr. Jones quickly assembled his team. OR Nurse Kelly Sheets contacted me each hour and provided updates for our family.

After three hours of surgery, Dr. Jones emerged and explained in complete detail that not only did Mom have a double bowel obstruction, but also a hernia that had wrapped itself around her small intestine cutting off blood flow to it. Dr. Jones had to remove several severe adhesions and also a section of her small intestine. He told us the surgery was a success, but my Mom had a long road to recovery. Although my family was scared to death, Dr. Jones’ take-charge attitude and confident demeanor reassured our family that my Mom would recover.

After surgery, my Mom was put in the MBU (Monitored Bed Unit) where she remained for the next 10 days. In those 10 days, we experienced total excellence in care. The RN’s and CNA’s of the MBU were professional, compassionate,knowledgeable, thorough, and most of all, kind.

They seemed to genuinely care about my Mom and her recovery. From her personal care to monitoring her vitals, this teams stayed positive about her progress and steadfast with her care.

Every single member of the MBU team went out of their way to not only meet my Mom’s needs,but extended a high level of care and concern for me and my entire family. This team’s medical expertise exceeded all of our expectations.

As a proud native of Ashe County, I want to extend my gratitude and special thanks to Dr. Jones and the following nurses of the MBU team: Shelia Maltba RN, Darlene Jones RN, Cassie Lewis RN, Kaye Miller RN, Tina Brown RN, Crystal Taylor CNA, Shelby Holman CNA, Miranda Barker CNA and Sabrina Bare CNA. I also want to thank the EMT team, ER staff, OR staff and the dispatcher who helped me,.

In closing, I would encourage anyone with medical needs to seek treatment at Ashe Memorial Hospital. I’m proud to say with confidence our hometown hospital has it all. From expert surgeons to excellent RNs and CNAs, you won’t be disappointed with the angels of Ashe!

Brandon Ashley


Tom Mayer is the executive editor of Mountain Times Publications, a group of five news newspapers, six websites and one monthly periodical in the High Country of North Carolina.

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