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1401 West 5th St. Sheridan, WY — 307.672.1000

Traveler Requires Appendectomy; SMH Care Team Gets Him Back On The Road Next Day


Each year, Sheridan County welcomes thousands of visitors, from families attending youth sporting events and tourists exploring the Bighorn Mountains to the passersby who spend a night in Sheridan on their way elsewhere. On occasion, those visitors encounter unexpected healthcare needs.

One such traveler, Bill Krieg, was driving home to California with a friend after visiting a ranch outside of Moorcroft. The friend’s wife had passed after a battle with breast cancer and the pair had driven east to the ranch to spread her ashes. Krieg and his friend had intended to make the road trip relatively quickly that October. Following the ceremony, they left Moorcroft and intended to spend the evening in Sheridan before continuing on their way.

“We had stopped for dinner in Sheridan and checked into the hotel about 6:30 p.m.,” Krieg said. “For about a week, I had a weird sensation in my abdomen. Kind of a dull feeling. I thought it was strange but dismissed it. By early evening, I was feeling nauseous and said to my friend that I had a feeling I’d be in the ER before the end of the night.”

Krieg was right. He tried to endure, but by about 12:30 a.m. his friend was taking him to the Emergency Department at Sheridan Memorial Hospital.

Upon arrival at SMH, care teams got to work assessing Krieg’s situation. They performed tests and scans, diagnosing Krieg with acute appendicitis. He would need surgery or face the possibility of his appendix rupturing.

By 6:30 a.m. that morning, Dr. Barry Mangus was in Krieg’s room introducing himself and talking Krieg through the surgery. That afternoon, Mangus performed an appendectomy. The surgery went well, and Krieg was on the mend.

“What stood out to me is that what was conveyed to me happened,” Krieg said of his experience at SMH. “I was not wondering. They didn’t overplay the situation. They were upfront and clear.”

In addition, Krieg said, the nursing care was extremely personable.

“The attention and how I was treated – I cannot commend enough the staff and the physicians who were assigned to me,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for better care.”

Upon arrival at the hospital, Krieg had told the SMH care team that he was on a road trip, and that he and his friend wanted to get moving again as soon as possible. Dr. Mangus explained the risks, particularly of developing a blood clot due to sitting for extended periods of time post-surgery, but outlined a safe plan that would allow the duo to get back on the road and on their way to California.

By 6 p.m. that evening, about 16 hours after arriving at the SMH Emergency Department, Krieg had been discharged from the hospital and the next morning he continued the drive back to California.

Krieg has worked in the healthcare industry for 40 years, but he noted his experience in Sheridan far exceeded his expectations.

“I have gone through other surgeries elsewhere, and it was far more complex in terms of scheduling and processes,” he said. “The whole experience in Sheridan was extremely personal. You can tell they are all good, caring people who are not just doing their jobs, but being informative and communicative. It was pretty extraordinary.”

While few tourists visiting the Sheridan area expect to utilize the health care services provided by Sheridan Memorial Hospital, Krieg said visitors – and locals – are lucky to have such an exceptional hospital and care teams in the community.

Learn more about the hospital’s Emergency Department and Big Horn Surgical by visiting the respective links.