program continues to advance
Dr. Schmidova and Team Continue to Advance Surgery Program at St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals.
“It started out like symptoms of the flu,” explained Molly Waters. “But then when she woke up in the middle of the night complaining of stomach pain, I began to think it might be something more serious.” Molly brought her daughter, Madelyn, into the clinic in Orofino to see Jake Foster, PA. She explained that she thought Madelyn, who goes by Maddy, might have appendicitis.
Foster performed an examination on Maddy and got her scheduled for a blood test and ultrasound at the hospital. “Jake was so thorough and explained everything that was going on, not only to me, but to Maddy,” says Molly. “When it was determined that she did have appendicitis I was so grateful to Jake for listening to me and believing that what was going on was serious.”
When they were told that Maddy had appendicitis and would need surgery Molly expected that they would need to be transferred out of Orofino. “I just didn’t know that the surgeon at CVHC could do an appendectomy on a 9 year old,” said Molly. “Then we met Dr. Schmidova and she explained that they would perform the procedure laparoscopically, meaning it would be minimally invasive, and Maddy would most likely be able to go home that night. I had packed a bag expecting to be Life Flighted out if she had appendicitis; it was great to find out that we wouldn’t have to do that! Dr. Schmidova was wonderful at explaining the procedure both to me and to Maddy and made sure we knew what was going to happen. She made us as comfortable as we could be.”
Dr. Schmidova and her team perform minimally invasive surgeries as often as possible. “It is easier on the patients and allows them to get home sooner. Patients have less pain and healing typically occurs more quickly when the patient can do it at home with family.” explains Dr. Schmidova.
“Being able to have a procedure done here is a real advantage because patients are typically able to go home sooner. Families are not out the expense of having to travel to Lewiston, or farther, and getting a hotel room,” says Kim Coppernoll, Surgery Tech and EMT. “Our patients are in great hands with Dr. Schmidova and our whole team.”
“It was so nice being able to have Maddy’s surgery done here. Her primary care provider is Dr. Lima and even though Dr. Lima wasn’t working on this case, she came in just to check on us and reassure us that Dr. Schmidova would take great care of Maddy,” says Molly. “It meant a lot to us that a doctor who has seen Maddy, and knows her history, went the extra mile to come in and talk to her. That’s not something you can get at every hospital!”
“When it was time for Maddy to head back into surgery, the whole team was so great. Marvin [Cook, OR Director], was great at helping Maddy stay calm and Kayliah [Knapp, Surgery Tech], was so attentive to Maddy and to us. Even other nurses that didn’t even work in the operating room checked on us to make sure we were okay and if there was anything they could bring us to make us more comfortable,” explains Molly. “As soon as the surgery was over we had an OR nurse come out to tell us that everything went great, and then Dr. Schmidova came out and gave me a hug, and said how well it went and told us we’d get to see Maddy soon.”
“Having Maddy’s surgery done here at CVH was such a great decision. They went above and beyond during and even after surgery by bringing Maddy back in and giving her a tour of the OR to show that it’s not scary,” says Molly. “It’s just warming to know that that’s here in our community.
“I don’t think I’d be scared if I had to have surgery here again,” says Maddy with a little smile.
Dr. Schmidova was trained at University of Washington and did her surgical residency at Penn State. She practiced at a hospital in Loveland, CO for 9 years before coming to St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals. She and her surgical teams at both hospitals perform many minimally invasive surgeries including laparoscopic inguinal hernias, incisional or ventral hernias, laparoscopic gallbladders and liver biopsies, appendectomies, colon surgeries, excisions of small masses or hemorrhoids, minor breast surgeries and open colon surgeries.
Maddy Waters with Dr. Schmidova after Maddy had a laparoscopically performed appendectomy by the surgeon at Clearwter Valley Hospital in Orofino. This is a minimally invasive procedure and allowed Maddy to go home that same day.
Molly and Maddy Waters with Dr. Schmidova. Photos submitted by Kim Johnson.