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Patient Stories

Michael's Story

Here’s To More Fishing and Better Health

When Michael and Earlene Lamb were searching for a place to retire, they narrowed the criteria down to three things: a place with plenty of sunshine, a local college for youth and entertainment, and a great hospital for care. Both retired from Boeing, Earlene as a Special Event Manager and Michael as a Wing Production Manager; the couple has found a home here in the Grande Ronde Valley for over 23 years.
On a fishing trip up to Anthony Lakes with his son, Michael found traversing the lakeside paths with their roots and muddy terrain, took much longer than usual. After his son went around the bend to find the next fishing hole, Michael called ahead and said, “Go on up; I will be with you in just a couple of minutes.” Twenty minutes later, he had only moved five feet. He thought, “Well, this is for the birds!” That’s when he knew it was time to make an appointment with Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Adam Heisinger, up at Grande Ronde Hospital.

Shortly after making plans for a knee replacement, Michael took a tumble at home, landed on the concrete, and broke his wrist. Thankfully, Earlene was headed back from the grocery store and was there within minutes. Michael headed to see Dr. Arie Trouw, GRH Orthopedic Surgeon, specializing in hand surgery. Their decision to find a place to retire with a great hospital for care would soon pay off as Michael was now facing two surgeries.

After spending most of their adult lives in the Seattle area, experiencing large hospital systems, Earlene had this to say about their decision to stay local for their health care needs, “We’ve been in big city hospitals when we lived in the Seattle area. They are very busy all the time. It’s wonderful to go into a hospital and recognize your doctor, or good heavens, the nursing staff, or others working in the hospital, like the clerks. You know people, because it is smaller, and I like that. But the care is just as good, if not better. There’s not that rush.” Michael shared, “We’ve met quite a few people here. And we understood that the atmosphere of this hospital is so much beyond many of the others; it really is. And I didn’t want to travel.”

Michael’s surgeries at GRH were both a success. He shared, “Everything was explained ahead of time, no question was unanswered, and it was wonderful. Everything went as they expected it to, so that was good too. And the amazing thing, and something I think about a lot with this hospital, is that everybody, from the janitor up, went the extra mile with a smile on their face and a happy thought, anxious to help. Nothing is too much trouble. And it just made you feel good.”

At 84, Michael has been working hard to build strength and stability in physical therapy and is recovering well. He and Earlene are making travel plans to visit one of their sons in South Carolina. Michael hopes to go fishing with his son again, this time with more stability and mobility. Instead of roots and muddy terrain slowing him down, he says he only needs to worry about sharing the water with the alligators!
The 700+ employees of Grande Ronde Hospital and Clinics take pride in providing quality health care to our friends and neighbors in this valley and beyond. Patients are our passion, and we love to hear stories of healing. Here’s to more fishing and better health! If you would like to share your story of healing, please reach out to

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