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Chester woman flown to Stanford during pandemic; warns residents to wear a mask

Chester resident Cheryl Jasenka wants residents to know that it’s not just COVID patients that are being impacted when they are taken to a hospital — the virus can affect anyone needing medical care.

In late August Jasenka’s husband drove her to the emergency room at Seneca when she was experiencing terrible pain and vomiting. A catscan revealed a large mass on several of her organs and she was sent to Enloe Medical Center in Chico.

“I laid in the emergency room for 24 hours, before they could find a hospital that could take me,” she said. It turned out that Jasenka needed emergency surgery requiring highly specialized care.

When she awoke in her hospital bed following surgery, Jaskenka wasn’t sure where she was and had to ask. She was at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, but her family had no idea where she was. Enloe had never admitted her as a patient, so there was no trail.

But Jasenka had her cell phone so she texted her husband. When she was released a week later it took a combination of family friends and a sibling to reunite her with her husband. As a result of her surgery and subsequent medications, Jasenka said she has a compromised immune system and she must be very careful.

Jasenka contacted Plumas News because she wants people to take the virus seriously. “It’s not political,” she said. “If I hear one more person say that Bill Gates is trying to microchip us or that if we wear a mask we are a bunch of sheep …”

“My stepmother died of COVID,” she said, and “I have several family members who have it.”

She said it’s a real disease and it’s serious. But she also wants to stress that having “any illness is dangerous right now.”

Local hospitals are adjusting to the reality that there could come a time when they have a patient that should be sent out for care, but they could have a difficult time finding a bed at another facility. It’s not just a local problem. As beds fill, it’s a challenge to place patients.

Jasenka becomes emotional when she talks about the toll that the virus has taken on her and her family and asks people to do the right thing and wear a mask. She said it’s frustrating to see the number of people who aren’t wearing a mask in public. “The whole situation is terrifying,” she said.

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