Trucker sends sincere ‘thanks, y’all’ after surprise stop

While his Southern drawl is most certainly charming, that’s not why the Emergency Department (ED) staff made sure Brent Baker was well-cared-for and comfortable. That’s what they do for seriously ill and injured people of all ages.

And for truck drivers who only intended to pass through.

“I took a 6-foot nosedive off my truck when I was fixing a binder. I thought I just sprained my ankle, so I drove another 200 miles,” said Brent Baker from Trumann, Arkansas. “I was trying to put off getting it looked at, but it got to hurting so bad I had to pull over.”

Truck driver Brent Baker sends thanks all the way for ArkansasTurns out Carle’s ED told Baker what did didn’t want to hear—that he’d broken his tibia, which eventually required surgery and time off work and off the road.

Carle’s Level 1 Trauma Center is no stranger to badly broken bones—and worse. It’s a tough place to be, though, with patients and their families going through scary and painful times. When a compliment rolls in, the 24/7/365 ED team is happy to hear it—and then move on to the next patient in need.

Months later, Dr. Danielle Zink remembers Baker well and appreciates his kindness.

“He was very polite, stoic and cooperative,” she said. “And he was kind to the nurses, which means a lot.”

She’s no stranger to trauma. Like other doctors, nurses and ED staff, Dr. Zink likes the variety, the fast pace of her job. And she likes making things better.

“A lot of time I see people on their worst day,” she said. “I try to make it not as bad.”

When the mother of a toddler is not at work, she spends time with family, goes to spin classes and walks her golden doodle.  

When Ali Boatright from Carle Recruitment Services talks with emergency department professionals about positions at Carle, she spotlights the variety of cases providers see, as well as the work-life balance Dr. Zink thrives on.

“I always encourage people to join our field and our department,” Dr. Zink said. “I appreciate that when I’m off, I’m off. No pages. No calls. My time is mine.”

Arkansas truck driver Brent Baker and his brotherWhile patched-up trucker/patient Baker spent time waiting for his nephew and ride back to northeast Arkansas, the ED staff tended to the little things—a glass of water, a warm blanket, a friendly chat.

It made an impact.

“Even then I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to be sure to have to tell somebody about this,’” Baker said. “From beginning to end, everyone who helped me was outstanding—the Carle Arrow Ambulance paramedics and the entire emergency department.”

Baker, who is now back to work, said the months right after his accident weren’t exactly been his cup of tea.

“I’m used to going, but it healed up well,” he said of recovering from surgery complete with “a metal plate and 10 screws” in his leg.

Southern drawl and all, he insists he knows good customer service when he sees it.

“I spent 12 pretty important hours at your hospital,” he said. “I was very impressed by how y’all took care of me and went above and beyond for me the people around me.

“Please tell the folks there I said thank you.”