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Family donates a sculpture to St. Vincent Healthcare to recognize exemplary treatment



Billings, Montana – The treatment you get when recovering from an accident can make all the difference in the world.

More than most, the Robertson family is aware of this.

“In July of last year, our son Chet was in a near fatal motorcycle accident,” said Chet’s mother, Leslie Robertson, on Friday. “He was flown down here from Bozeman where they had him in ICU for six weeks.”

Chet sustained a catastrophic brain damage as a result of his accident and spent more than three weeks in an artificially induced coma. After receiving medical attention in Billings at St. Vincent Healthcare, he was transported to California for rehabilitation. According to Leslie, the hospital went above and above to support her family during the trying ordeal.

Accidents like these are never simple to negotiate, but because Chet was living in Bozeman by himself and most of his family was in California, things were more challenging.

“There was so much unknown. And all you feel is, I just need to get there,” Leslie said. “But then when we got here and saw the level of care and caring that was happening, it was such a relief.”

And after many sleepless nights, Chet persisted and is now returning to his regular life.

“When we had to go home at night, it was terrifying. Especially in the beginning because we didn’t know what would happen,” Leslie said. “I would call the nurse’s station multiple times and never did they get annoyed with me or frustrated. They just answered my questions and reassured us that he’s okay. Don’t worry, we’ve got him, you need to rest.”

The Robertson family as a whole agrees that Chet had great care during his rehabilitation. They gathered at the hospital on Friday to give a particular sculpture away because of this.

“Our parents best friends started the Daisy Foundation and we really couldn’t pick just one nurse to nominate. And the Healer’s Touch sculpture is something they do on a special occasion when something is above and beyond,” Leslie said. “It was really a way for something to be here at the hospital, for people to walk by and tell a story and make sure people have hope. And that they know that the caregivers, they’re the ones that did this for us.”

To recognize the employees who went above and beyond during a terrifying period, Chet was joined by his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Leslie claimed that the staff went above and beyond to offer assistance, consolation, and support. She remembers that one nurse brought in a music machine to help Chet sleep, and that another gave her a figurine that had a special meaning.

“I think for us, looking back on the people that were here and the care that Chet got, and that we got. Those are blessings,” Leslie said. “And to stay connected with them and for them to know what they did for us, that’s important.”

Before the sculpture was unveiled, Leslie offered a statement of gratitude, and the hospital personnel were filled with emotion.

“This is such a gift to us as caregivers because it reminds us what we do, makes a difference. And so the dedication of the Healer’s Touch statue really encourages and fills the cup. It reminds us that the people that are here, the families that we care for every day, are coming back and saying, ‘Thank you’,” said Melissa Filter, the chief nursing officer at St. Vincent Healthcare. “It’s just a great opportunity to celebrate the great work that’s done here every single day.”

During the recovery, Filter claimed she had a close working relationship with Chet and his family, and hearing them express thanks meant the world to her.

“When Chet came into the hospital, he was very traumatically injured. And his family came in from out of state to care for him and to be by his side,” Filter said. “And when we care for patients, we care for the whole family. And it was an emotional day because we were told the story from the family’s side of things.”

“Every time they came in, they talked to Chet. They explained what they were doing to Chet and that was incredible because he was still a human. He wasn’t just a patient, he was a human being there,” Leslie said. “The way they handled all of it is something we will never forget. Never. And he, he’s here because of them.”



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