• Dustin Cullop, Bristol Regional emergency surgery patient


  • Unusual warning signs - great outcome
  • Dustin Cullop didn’t have the typical warning signs of appendicitis; in fact, his mother assumed his pain stemmed from an injury. But once the family arrived at Bristol Regional Medical Center, not only was he diagnosed quickly, but he – and his mother – received top-notch attention and care.

  • Dustin’s mother shares their story


  • In March 2015, my son Dustin Cullop was having pain in the center of his abdomen.  He had recently fallen, so I assumed it was related to that event. But when the pain persisted, I began to search online for his symptoms – but nothing seemed to correlate with where he was experiencing his pain. 

    Dustin was still experiencing severe pain the next morning, so I took him to Bristol Regional Medical Center’s emergency room. Although we live in Meadowview, Virginia, I always go to Bristol Regional for my family’s health care. My youngest son had outpatient hand surgery several years back at Bristol Regional, and I was impressed by the care he received. 

    Soon after we arrived to the emergency room, the staff told me Dustin had appendicitis and needed to have emergency surgery to have his appendix removed. Normally, appendicitis causes side pain, but Dustin’s appendix was so inflamed that it was pushing on his bladder causing unusual pain in the center of his abdomen. 

    Everyone took the time to explain everything that was happening with my son and answered all my questions thoroughly. I appreciated them not making me feel stupid for having so many questions. 

    Dr. Gwaltney performed his surgery and was awesome. His main nurse, Sheila Murray, treated Dustin as if he was her own son. We were blessed to have her as his nurse. His other nurses, Brad Moore and Ryan Short, and his PCT, Megan Rutledge, were also great. Brad would even check to see if my son was sleeping and would come back when he was awake – I appreciated this because I, too, was worn out.  He put my son’s needs before his own and went above and beyond to be considerate and attentive. 

    The quality care continued after we left. They called me a week later to see how Dustin was doing, and if he was recovering OK. Just to call and double-check on my son’s health made me feel like he was in great hands with Bristol Regional.


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