In patients, out patients, Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic, Ringgold County Hospital, specialty clinic, you name it, and Virginia and Dick Walden have probably experienced it. Residents of Tingley, they’ve lived in the area since 2011 and are big fans of the hospital, the clinic, the entire staff, and particularly Dr. Bruce Ricker. “Dr. Ricker is so personable, and very thorough,” said Virginia. “He’s very caring, but not afraid to tell you if something’s wrong. He’s been very patient with us, and keeps us on a short leash,” she added laughing. “But seriously, if something should go wrong, he’s on it right away.”
The couple is in their mid-70s and have known each other since they met in nursery school in the early 1940s. A retired pastor and church musician, they’ve spent their lives caring for others so they really appreciate the care they receive from the RCH community. They moved to southern Iowa on the advice of their daughter, a nurse practitioner, who wanted them to be closer to her. Dick suffered a stroke in 2000 and was diagnosed with diabetes in 2010 at about the same time he had a quadruple heart bypass. With Dr. Ricker’s guidance, he’s no longer on any diabetes medicine and is controlling it with diet alone. He’s also had a hernia repaired and an endoscopy procedure with Dr. Wehling.
Virginia’s been hospitalized three times in the past five years with bronchitis, a broken arm and kidney stones. She also has an irregular heartbeat which is monitored through an implant and wireless technology. Two “trigger fingers” were repaired for her by Dr. Homedan who also worked with her on carpal tunnel syndrome. They monitor a myriad of health issues using a calendar on the side of the refrigerator to keep up with their appointments for blood work, tests, and checkups. “Everything has been coming out really well,” reports Virginia. “Of course for some things, we need to see a specialist in Des Moines. But the doctors here know when to recommend a specialist and when we can be treated locally. We are so fortunate to have this hospital in our community. We just love it here!