Caring for Ray Hayes, Right Here at Home

He wears the ring. And he’s determined to live to see his grandson wear it too.

Ray Hayes, The Citadel class of 1952, and Russell Watkins, The Citadel class of 2017, share the double bonds of family and fidelity to the Corps of Cadets. But when the 84-year-old Hayes suffered an intestinal obstruction, it looked like he may not get to see his grandson graduate from The Citadel 65 years after he did.

With his life hanging in the balance, Hayes was rushed to the Emergency Department at Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center. His age and other medical complications notwithstanding, the medical team knew his only chance was surgery to relieve the obstruction.

Dr. Tom Mincheff, general surgeon, expertly performed the procedure. Had he not acted quickly and decisively, Ray Hayes would not be with us today. But happily he is, and he remains committed to participating in the presentation of Russell’s diploma from The Citadel.

Pre and post-operative care from Dr. Rudolph Jokl and Dr. Robert Elder, along with the ongoing dedication of Dr. Mincheff, kept the dream alive. As Rebecca Watkins, the daughter of Ray and mother of Russell, put it: “The personal care and love shown to us was what made the difference. We are all blessed to have the skill and caring of the healthcare team at Carolina Pines.”

The medical hands that heal, the community ties that bind. That’s Carolina Pines.


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