Damon Hof (right) and his wife, Haly JensonHof
July 24, 2023
Editor’s Note: The CRMC Marketing Department would like to thank Haly JensonHof for her help in writing this article.
About 12 years ago, Torrington, WY, resident Damon Hof had to have a graft placed in his aorta. Damon healed and up until this past year, the 75-year-old seemed to be in perfect health when he unexpectedly started losing weight. He went to see his primary care doctor in Scottsbluff, NE, to find out what might be causing the weight loss. After several tests it was discovered that Damon’s aortic graft had slipped and a repair was necessary. Damon was referred to a vascular surgeon in Nebraska; however, Damon insisted on seeing Dr. Elias Kfoury, who he had come to know and trust. Dr. Kfoury is a vascular surgeon with Cheyenne Regional Medical Group’s Heart & Vascular Institute.
Over the past year, Damon has undergone several vascular and reconstructive surgeries and procedures at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC), to fix the aortic graft and to address other serious medical issues.
After so many procedures and hospital stays, Damon said that the last thing he wants is to have another surgery or to be in the hospital. Damon shared, “But if I have to, this is the place I want to be. I would recommend Cheyenne Regional Medical Center to anybody.”
A retired college dean and director of counseling at Eastern Wyoming College, Damon said his high regard for CRMC and Cheyenne Regional Medical Group (CRMG) is due to how he and his wife, Haly JensenHof, have been treated.
“I have never met a doctor anywhere like him,” Damon said of Dr. Kfoury and the treatment that Dr. Kfoury has provided. “We can call him 24/7, anytime of the day or night, and unless he is in surgery, he will get back to us within 10 minutes. He is just that kind of guy. He will even call us on Sunday to see how things are going. I have just never met anyone that is so caring about their patients. I have so much respect for that man.”
Damon was so well cared for during his recent hospital stays on CRMC’s Telemetry and Surgical/Orthopedics/Neurosurgery Units (SONU) that he also wanted to share his experiences there: “The personnel are the most caring, nicest people you could meet. Both of those places are just tremendous.”
Damon said he was surprised, and especially pleased, when one of his SONU nurses, Alyssa Klingensmith, RN, brought him a cinnamon roll and a card on her day off. Damon wanted to thank another nurse, Madeline “Sophie” Kopper, RN, who works on Telemetry, for being so kind. “They are some real special people,” he said.
Damon and Haly praised another one of Damon’s nurses, Ken Olive, from CRMC’s Perioperative Unit, for being “a tremendous guy, too.” Haly said that Ken took time to speak with her before every surgery, and to comfort her when she was feeling especially afraid.
Damon was also pleased that when he would call to order breakfast from the hospital’s Food and Nutrition Services, the person answering the phone would always greet him by name. Haly recounted how one of CRMC’s Facilities employees took her back to the surgery waiting room when she had problems with an elevator in the middle of the night—and how that same employee recognized her when she was walking through the CRMC’s Greenhouse Grill a couple of weeks later and asked how her husband was doing. Haly said, “I thought, ‘Wow,’ that was amazing!”
Being able to spend the night in Damon’s hospital room was another positive for Haly: “I think it did him some good, and I know it did me some good.” This was especially true during both Christmas and New Year’s.
Another highlight, Haly said, was how well the staff on Telemetry and SONU treated her: “All of the nurses, and the CNAs, everyone, they took my comfort into consideration. They were always asking if I needed anything or if they could do anything for me…. I kept saying, ‘He’s the one to focus on,’ and that ‘I don’t want to take up your time,’ but they always asked. I appreciated that.”
Damon and Haly have discussed what the reason might be for the good experiences they’ve had throughout the hospital and in the medical group clinics. They both think it comes down to finding people who want to work in healthcare and who have positive attitudes. Damon said, “They are the most caring and the nicest people you could meet. And, you can tell that they want to help.”