For Patients

Patient Stories

Joe Laffin

Joe Laffin: From Board Room to Hospital Room

Joe Laffin joined the HFSC Board of Directors in 2009 and served for 11 years. He chaired the human resources committee, served on the executive compensation and executive committees, and rose to the position of vice chair. When Joe endured a three-month stay in an intensive care unit suffering from sepsis, he knew he needed HFSC’s expertise to rebuild his strength and his life.

The septic shock shut down Joe’s system, including his lungs, kidney and heart. He came to HFSC on a ventilator and on dialysis. His multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, and therapists helped him wean successfully from both dialysis and the ventilator. “I had to relearn to breathe again, comb my hair, brush my teeth, and learn how to walk. I couldn’t walk. A big part for me was taking 10 steps in a walker.”

As a board member, Joe focused on the business side of healthcare. As a patient, he got to see first-hand how the clinical care impacted patients and their families… including his own wife and children. Joe says he was struck by many things, “At Special Care everyone pitches in, and enjoys doing it, I felt immediately like a family culture. People love working here, and it shows in the way they treat their products, i.e. the patients.”

He is grateful to the clinical staff who cared for him during his stay. Thanks to his team, he was able to walk his wife down the aisle and dance at his son’s wedding. “Special Care was a significant part in achieving that goal. I came in on a stretcher, and walked out with the help of a walker, which is pretty crazy.”