Former Nurse Returns to Scripps Mercy for Care

After being attacked by a robber, Anne Bemis found herself in a familar place in an unfamilar role

Anne Bemis loves to take time to smell the roses. The 89-year-old has a passion for gardening, especially nurturing the fragrant roses blooming right outside the front door of her East County home. The retired nurse, who is a graduate of the Mercy College of Nursing, is glad to be back home in her garden, thanks to the compassionate care she received at Scripps Mercy Hospital after an unexpected trauma.

On a Sunday afternoon last July, Anne was robbed and injured leaving a grocery store in Hillcrest. She was unconscious when she was brought by ambulance to Scripps Mercy’s Level I trauma center where trauma surgeon Jack Yang, MD, and Scripps Mercy’s trauma team were ready. Anne suffered a head injury, and had a broken collarbone and a broken leg.

“Scripps Mercy Hospital is ready 24-7 for cases like this one. We are committed to caring for everyone, whether they have experienced trauma from motor vehicle accidents or have suffered injuries as victims of crime. It was my pleasure to treat Anne,” says Dr. Yang.

“As a nurse, I never thought I would receive medical care for something like this. I’m the one that has always taken care of others,” says Anne. “I am so thankful that the physicians and nurses at Scripps Mercy Hospital were there for me when I was the one who needed help.”

Anne had surgery on her left leg, where orthopedic surgeon Michael Bongiovanni, MD, placed three screws in her femur to repair and strengthen the broken bone. She spent five days in the hospital before being transferred to a nearby rehabilitation facility for extended care. After several months of physical therapy, Anne is now able to get around without the aid of a walker.

“As a retired nurse, I have to say that I am a tough customer,” adds Anne with a grin. “The nurses were excellent. Most of all, I remember the kindness of everyone around me.”

Anne’s daughter, Margaret, echoes her sentiments, “There was something very special about Scripps Mercy. The doctors and nurses were all excellent. And, the daily visits by Sister Mary Leonita Montoyer, one of the Sisters of Mercy, provided comfort to both me and my mother. We are very grateful.”

Anne, who is the mother of three, grandmother of seven, and great-grandmother of nine, maintains a positive attitude. “A lot of people who’ve been through what I have, might ask, ‘why me?’ I just want to be strong and count my blessings. I am so happy to be home.”

For more information about how you can support lifesaving care at Scripps Mercy Hospital, please call 619-686-3836.