My family wants to extend its gratitude for the superb care provided by a team of individuals following a fall after church in Westport on Sunday, Oct. 28. Yes, that Sunday -- the one most people were dedicating to storm preparation prior to the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.

While leaving church that day, my husband lost his footing and sustained a severe laceration above his left eye. On the scene was fellow congregant Ann Sikes, a registered nurse who provided immediate and proper attention to the wound. Her care on the scene ensured the wound was triaged appropriately.

We knew this was going to need the attention of a skilled plastic surgeon, and Dr. Joseph O'Connell of Westport was our choice for this job. After our ambulance ride to the hospital and check-in at the hospital, I called Dr. O'Connell's office, described the situation to the answering service, and received a call back from Dr. O'Connell within five minutes (yes, I said five minutes!). Dr. O'Connell calmed my frazzled nerves and walked me through the process -- a thorough exam by the ER staff at the hospital, and after my husband's release, a trip to his office for suturing.

Dr. O'Connell cancelled his plans for the afternoon to meet us at his office. Four hours after the accident, we arrived at Dr. O'Connell's office and were greeted by Dr. O'Connell and his wife Lesley O'Connell, a registered nurse. My husband was quickly whisked into the suturing room where everything was set up and ready to go.

Two and half hours later, the suturing was complete and we were sent home with specific instructions of no activity. A check back on Monday morning with Dr. O'Connell as Sandy was starting to brew assured us that the healing process was heading in the right direction. We are still in the recovery phase of Sandy and the head injury, but we are forever grateful for the compassionate and excellent care we have received over the past couple of weeks from Dr. O'Connell and Lesley O'Connell. They exemplify and practice excellence in healthcare delivery.

Lenora Harris-Field