published Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Parkridge director of surgery saluted as THA 'healthcare hero'

Director of
Surgery
Connie
Longley,
left, and
nurse John
Matheney
scrub a
patient's arm
in preparation
for surgery.
Director of Surgery Connie Longley, left, and nurse John Matheney scrub a patient's arm in preparation for surgery.
Photo by Staff File Photo.

Parkridge Medical Center's Director of Surgery has been named the Tennessee Hospital Association Healthcare Hero for 2013.

Connie Longley, a 24-year veteran of Parkridge's surgery department, was honored for providing care and arranging transport for a co-worker's daughter who suffered a critical head injury in Mexico last year.

In Sept. 2012, Sande Shealy -- the hospital's director of Day Surgery -- learned that her 24-year-old daughter Haley had fallen and suffered a traumatic brain injury while vacationing in Cozumel, Mexico. She was non-responsive.

When Shealy found that she did not have a passport that would allow her to travel to Mexico, Longley volunteered to go in her place.

In Mexico, Connie helped care for Haley at the hospital, calling the Shealy family with updates and providing emotional support.

A Life Flight to Chattanooga was set up for the next day, and Connie and Shealy's husband were both able to accompany Haley on the jet back to Tennessee.

Today, Haley has completely recovered from her accident.

"Connie's actions were the most selfless that I have ever witnessed," Shealy said. "She went to my daughter's side without hesitation or complaint."

Parkridge Health System's CEO, Darrell Moore, nominated Longley for the award.

This is the second year in a row that a Parkridge Medical Center employee has received the statewide association's Healthcare Hero award.

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