All photos courtesy of Skyla Smith and used with permission.

Sterling Smith and family

"I want to make sure all the staff who helped with Sterling at Wyoming Medical Center are noticed and thanked: Aimee, Laurie, Cassi, Stacie, Martha, Stephanie, Caitlin, Morgan, Heather, Trista, Fatima, Mandi from ER, Courtney from surgery, Allison from surgery and Rebecca our housekeeper. (I know I’m missing some amazing girls from her surgical team). We were so blessed by these sweet people and all their kindness and dedication to making sure our daughter received the absolute best care. — Skyla Smith, mother


This spring, Sterling Smith of Glenrock underwent emergency surgery at Wyoming Medical Center after her appendix burst and went unrecognized for several days. She stayed with us as she fought off the infection, and made special connections with many of our nurses and staff. Her family touched everyone she encountered.

Sterling's infection required more treatment and surgery at Children's Hospital Colorado in Denver, and she is still recovering. Though she is back home in Glenrock, she and her family have made several return trips to Denver for more specialized care. 

But, this week, we were delighted to have Sterling back at Wyoming Medical Center to light the Women of Vision Christimas tree in our lobby.  Sterling, we loved seeing you and and your little brothers, and you are welcome to come and see your friends on Pediatrics at any time. 

Please take a minute to read Sterling's full story below. From Sterling, and everyone at Wyoming Medical Center, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Original post, May 2019

After emergency surgery, 4-year-old Sterling Smith spent nine days on the Wyoming Medical Center Pediatric Unit. She touched everyone who cared for her – from the house keepers to the nurses to the physicians who worked to make her better.

During her stay, nurses teased Sterling that she was part of the WMC team. One of her nurses, Laurie Shaffer, R.N., made Sterling her own "employee badge" out of tape. But when Sterling needed to be transferred to Children's Hospital Colorado, her badge was inadvertantly thrown away.

Her team has been AMAZING! Wyoming Medical Center has the best pediatric staff! These ladies are so amazing and have made our stay so comforting. Their care is the best we’ve ever received! — Skyla Smith, mother

That couldn't stand. Laurie had an "official" WMC employee badge made, and we sent it to Denver. Sterling's smile (and the news that she was on her way home) reminded us about why we work in health care. 

Throughout the journey, Sterling's mother, Skyla Smith, has kept everyone up to date on the Sterling Strength Facebook page. She also had wonderful things to say about our staff, nurses and physicians. Thank you, Skyla for taking the time to send these kind words. And thank you, Sterling, for reminding us why we do what we do (and for those delicious cookies.)

Posted to Facebook May 21, 2019

April 29th, Sterling had her first ever Emergency Surgery. Up until that point our sweet girl rarely got sick. Wyoming Medical Center was absolutely amazing to ALL of us. Sterling's Surgeon Dr. Bowe was so kind, respectful, & on top of it. He always made sure we knew what was going on & everything was explained in such a understanding way. After Sterling's surgery, Dr. Bowe went through the surgery step-by-step with us. During recovery, he checked on Sterling several times a day. We appreciated Dr. Bowe more than words can express.

All photos courtesy of Skyla Smith and used with permission.

The surgical team: 
Sterling's team from nurses, assistants, & anesthesiologist all introduced themselves in such a kind, comforting and detailed way. With all of the stress we where under with the thought of our baby in surgery, L. Bickels was amazing with our little guy Grizzlee. She helped so much with him before surgery and was so amazing to us prepping Sterling for transport after her second procedure. A. Doherty took care of our Sterling for both surgeries in Wyoming. During the transport for Sterling to Colorado, Doherty took care of Grizzlee so I could get everything situated, she tracked down a pump for me, & helped explain everything alongside Bickels making everything less stressful. Sterling's surgical team where all outstanding and so appreciated!!

Pediatric nurses: 
Where do I begin with these amazing ladies?! Sterling's first couple of days where rough after her surgery. Every single one of her nurses where amazing! They helped her recovery process in more ways than just their standard ‘job’. Pediatric nurses don’t get enough credit. These ladies loved our baby girl, cared for her every need, always made sure we as a family where comfortable, helped with the boys all day and night so we could get rest, & kept our little girl smiling even in such a circumstance. Sweet 307 Pastries helped Sterling say thank you to her absolutely amazing medical team. Wyoming Medical Center has thee best pediatric staff & surgical nurses! Their care is the best we’ve ever received! We have fell in love with her nurses Aimee, Laurie, Cassi, Stacie, Martha, Stephanie, Caitlin, Morgan, Heather, Trista, Fatima, Mandi from ER, Courtney from surgery, Allison & Lisa from surgery & Rebecca our housekeeper. (I know I’m missing some amazing girls from her surgical team). Sterling had missed her ‘purple room’ so much she cried for it the whole stay in Colorado. We received special gifts even after being transported to Colorado. Sterling received a unicorn bouquet & sweet notes/goodies from her nurses. They helped me when I had concerns or questions after leaving as well. They will always have a special spot in our hearts!

Sterling bonded with each of her nurses in such a special way. Aimee made sure Sterling was comfortable & had plenty of things to keep her busy, along with giving Sterling her own little spa treatment. Stacie was so sweet to our baby girl with her amazing mothering instincts & kindness, we loved her so very much. Cassi was comforting, always on top of things, & made our stay comfortable She even traveled all the way to Denver to check up on our girl. Martha helped wonderfully with Sterlings recovery! Stephanie & Caitlin stayed on top of our care & where fantastic. Laurie bonded with our girl extra special. She made sterling a badge (out of medical tape) & played with our girl, & helped with Grizzlee. Fatima took such good care of us during the night & even played with sissy’s hair (she loved it)! All the girls went above and beyond for our girl no matter if it was their first/last day with her.

When sterling got to Colorado, they immediately starting transferring everything over. On accident they tossed Sterling's gown & badge (from Laurie). Sterling's badge meant so very much to her. It meant she worked with the girls on the pediatric unit. When she woke up, not only was she very upset she was no longer in her purple room, she was extremely upset not having her puppy gown and badge from Wyoming Medical. I mentioned something in passing to the girls & K. Gray. We where BLOWN AWAY with what they did for our sweet girl!! They had a badge made just for our sweet girl! She was over the moon!! She showed it off to everyone and has told everyone how she works with the nurses and ‘her favorite hospital’.

Our family can’t thank Wyoming Medical Enough for taking such amazing care of our Girl and continues to take such good care of her! We are truly blessed by everyone!!

Staci and Rylee Ross

This goes out to the ER staff and the nurses and doctors who took care of my daughter, Rylee, for the six days she spent in the hospital with RSV. It takes special people to be nurses, people with big hearts and a ton of patience to put up with scared moms like myself with a ton of questions. Thank you to Caitlen, Morgan, Stacie, Cassie and, of course, the house keeper Rebecca for making me comfortable on the peds floor. Bless all your hearts. Thank you!

  • Posted to Facebook Feb. 14, 2019

Amanda Lorenz

The staff at the Birth Place were terrific for our entire stay. From the delivery to discharge, they made the whole experience an amazing one, while making sure we were educated every step of the way. The pediatric hospitalist and OB, Dr. Hieb, was exceptional as well. I can't say enough great things about Wyoming Medical Center staff. And thank each and every one of you for the excellent care we received.
  • Posted to Facebook Feb. 11, 2019

Devin and Jason Hodges

I have to say that me and my wife were blown away by the hospitality and truly caring nature of the staff in the mother and baby center. We recently celebrated the birth of our second child and couldn’t ask for a better place to have been. We felt treated like each individual's family with the amount of care and attention they showed us. To top it all off just days after coming home we received this in the mail.

Photo, at left: The Hodges' care team sent this 'congratulations' card after the birth of their son. At right, Titus McCoy Hodges, born Jan. 26, 2019.

  • Posted to Facebook Feb. 1, 2019

Jay Nelson

Every single individual that I and my family interacted with during my stay was outstanding. From the time we were greeted at the valet stand until we were assisted to the car for our departure, we experience World Class service. I was bown away by the professionalism and respect we received by not just the medical staff and nursing support but by the volunteers and even the housekeeping staff.

Dear Ms. Michele Chulick:

I want to commend you and your organization on my experiences during my recent surgery and recovery. I underwent a colon sigmoid resection on November 16, 2018 performed by Dr. Aimee Gough and assisted by Dr. Brandon Trojan.

Your most important asset as a company is your employees. I didn't learn that in a business class. I have experienced that during my 30+ years in sales and company management. Every single individual that I and my family interacted with during my stay was outstanding. From the time we were greeted at the valet stand until we were assisted to the car for our departure, we experience World Class service.

I was blown away by the professionalism and respect we received by not just the medical staff and nursing support but by the volunteers and even the housekeeping staff. Yes, the housekeeping staff who took the time to introduce themselves to make sure that we knew who to contact should we need something.

It is clear that you and your predecessor have put into place policies and procedures designed to create a successful organization to meet the medical needs of Casper and the surrounding communities. Your employees know their responsibilities. If it weren't for the nursing staff "bothering" me for my vitals on a regular basis, I would have thought I had wandered into The Four Seasons. However, I am quite certain that The Four Seasons wouldn't have responded so quickly to my room service requests as the service I received from food services. Perhaps the most telling difference was in actuality the size of the television which was a little lacking!

During the holiday season, we all have many things for which to be thankful. In my home, the first thing for which we will be grateful is the Casper medical community and Wyoming Medical Center. Thank you and your staff for what you mean to the Casper community.

  • Letter from Jay Nelson, December 2018

Caryn and Bob Schulenberg

It was shocking that it all happened so fast, and then they came out and said he was doing well. I would never go anywhere else but this hospital. This hospital has taken such good care of every person that I have cared about.
Two Wyoming Medical Center nurses recently reunited with the man they resuscitated this fall in the Wal-Mart parking lot. From left are Ginger Sims, R.N.; Bob Schulenberg and his wife, Caryn; and Valya Boycheva, R.N.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that Caryn Schulenberg has been thinking about a lot: If you save someone’s life, you are responsible for them forever.

“I don’t believe that, but I do believe you are tied to them. There is part of you, because of what they gave you, that is tied to them forever,” she said.

If that’s the case, then a trip to the grocery store has forever linked Caryn, her husband Bob, and a group of strangers who just happened to be at the right place, at the right time.

Read the full story about Bob's heart attack and the three WMC employees who helped save his life.

Officer Jacob Carlson

Officer Jacob Carlson was shot in the line of duty on May 6, 2018.

Chuck and Mayra Heeman

The quick action they took was amazing to see, and there aren’t enough words to thank the staff for saving my wife’s life. 

On the morning of Sept. 27, I brought (my wife, Mayra) to the ER with chest pains. She had been having steady pain in her upper chest for a couple hours, the kind that one thinks of when one is having a heart attack. The ER staff got her in and checked immediately, and her EKG looked normal but the pain wouldn’t go away despite giving her pain killers through an IV. So the thought was that she may have a clot somewhere, and we waited for her to get a scan. They monitored her constantly into the early afternoon hours.

Then her EKG started “fluttering” and she went into having what they said was an “acute” heart attack. The staff was amazing; They jumped into action and had her in the cath lab almost immediately. Dr. Allan Wicks and Dr. Adrian Futcher took care of her, putting in four stents and finding some pretty significant arterial damage while they were in there. This was no real surprise as Mayra has a long family history of heart disease. She spent two more days – one in ICU and one in a regular room – and the entire staff was great, walking us through every step of what was happening and what to expect in the coming months. We never wanted for information and the staff was patient, friendly and professional. I know they deal with this stuff all the time but of course when it happens to you it’s a different thing, and they understood that as evident by their great treatment of Mayra.

Now she’s looking at a quadruple bypass, though her actual heart muscle seems to be in pretty good shape. We were so fortunate to already be in the ER when the attack happened or we might have been looking at a different outcome, according to Dr. Wicks. The quick action they took was amazing to see and there aren’t enough words to thank the staff for saving my wife’s life.

I just wanted to let you know that you work at a place with some pretty amazing people and Mayra and I appreciate you all much more than we can ever say!

  • Letter to WMC, September 2018

Heather Beall

Huge Rave to Dr. (George) Carmen and staff at WMC. I had to take my sister in today and, as always, we were worried. The nurses got her through triage and in a room within 15 minutes of us getting there, and Dr. Carmen was in not too much later. He was definitely one of the nicest ED doctors that I've dealt with in a long, long time. His bedside manner was just phenomenal. He made my sister feel better and answered every question we had. Always hate going to the hospital, but great doctors and nurses like today make it a little less traumatic.

  • Posted to Facebook Oct. 20, 2018

Shelley Leigh, Babe and Family

I want to thank each and every one of (the staff) for their lovely attitude. We travel a lot with our dog, and the people of Wyoming are the most dog friendly. People are more kind in Wyoming; they are more considerate. These are the bits of humanity that make life so pleasant.
Babe lies with Shelley Leigh of Montrose, Ala., at Wyoming Medical Center. (Provided photo)

A car crash on Sept. 4 separated Shelley Leigh from her beloved yellow lab, Babe, when she was life flighted to Wyoming Medical Center. But doctors and staff knew she needed her dog to help her heal. 

Read her and Babe's story here.