Donald Never Planned to be a Patient

Donald Buggs doesn’t share the details of the incident that landed him in the Emergency Center at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. Near midnight on July 8, 2012, Donald was stabbed.

Unconscious most of his time in the emergency center, he learned during one of his lucid moments that he had lost a lot of blood. His diaphragm and liver had been punctured. He was rushed to surgery so doctors could prevent internal bleeding.

When Donald awoke in recovery, he saw his daughter. The rest of his family was out of town and were rushing back to Houston. But his second family was waiting in the wings. Donald is a member of Harris Health System’s Engineering Department. “LBJ’s engineering staff helped take care of me,” he says.

Donald’s surgery happened the day his daughter was to move to New York to begin a career in marketing. “When I started my job as a journeyman engineering technician in 2007, I was asked in orientation why I wanted to work here. I told them that my goal was to pay for my daughter’s college education. Now we had come full circle. She graduated from Louisiana State University and was ready to start a new job. I’m so proud of her.” (She rescheduled her flight and made it to New York in time to launch her career.)

His five days in LBJ gave Donald a different perspective of the patient experience. “It gave me ideas to take to my job — ways of making things better for patients. The nursing care was wonderful. I’m proud to be part of Harris Health while we’re converting the hospitals to semi-private rooms. I work in the clinics, and we’re remodeling and updating, too.

“I’m happy to be part of the system and part of the community. I was born in Jefferson Davis Hospital before it was part of the [former] Harris County Hospital District,” he says. “I was one of the chosen. I was the first baby born in Texas on Veteran’s Day, 1964. And, I have a certificate to prove it.”

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