Manning Regional Healthcare Center

Local Farmer is Grateful for Healthcare in Manning

The 2020 spring planting season had an unexpected start for one area farmer and continued to be a year of many unexpected twists and turns. “When I cut my leg in a farming accident, I never imagined the ups and downs I would face in the next eight months,” said Bary Kienast, resident of rural Manning.

Bary has been a longtime patient of Manning Regional Healthcare and always appreciated receiving his healthcare close to home. Routine visits with his primary care physician, Dr. McLaws, ensured that Bary remained healthy on a day-to-day basis so that he could effectively manage his diversified farming operation, be active with his kids and grandkids, and continue to serve his community.

“It’s just so convenient as a farmer to be able to stop into town, visit the doctor and be back in the cab headed right back to the farm,” said Kienast.

However, it wasn’t until the past year that Bary became overwhelmingly grateful for the lifesaving care he received.

“When my accident initially happened, it was Hope Jensen, CDE, ARNP who was on call and saw me in the ER,” recalled Kienast. “She realized quickly that the wound was much larger than she could treat so she called in Dr. Luong, MRHC’s wound specialist.”

From that day forward, Bary truly appreciated Dr. Luong’s attention to his wound as he would come in for the next six weeks to have his wound evaluated, cleaned and new dressings applied.

Although wound treatment wrapped up in mid-June, Bary then contracted COVID in July.  But as many farmers do, he tried to ‘tough it out’ and just deal with the symptoms until he couldn’t handle it any longer. 

On July 12th Bary was in so much pain that he couldn’t even walk. It was then that he and his wife, Karen, knew that something was really wrong.  That Sunday, Bary was admitted to the hospital for five days he was treated in-patient for COVID.

Although his COVID-symptoms would subside, Bary experience tremendous pain in his back and right clavical area, so two days later he was back in the ER.  On July 21st he was admitted back into the hospital to be evaluated.

Since MRHC has such a strong connection with MercyOne, Dr. Luong contacted their specialists and worked with them to determine what the potential causes might be. “It was then we realized that it was likely a blood infection and we needed to get him specialized treatment right away,” said Dr. Luong.

On August 2nd, Bary was then life-flighted to Mercy in downtown Des Moines where he was treated by an Infectious Disease doctor and a Neurosurgeon who identified that he had an abscess on his spine. Bary had contracted methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).  They did back surgery to remove the abscess.

After six weeks of recovery, Bary was sent once again to MercyOne to remove an abscess that reoccurred and through another surgery removed the abscess and the disc that was ruined by the abscess.  The Neurosurgeon preformed a fusion of the L4 and L5 vertebrae.

Bary was fortunate to be admitted by Mercy because they had recently announced they were not receiving transfers due to the overwhelming needs of COVID patients.

“Honestly, I don’t even know if I thought about COVID at that point. I was just grateful that we had a diagnosis that would be treated. He was headed to Des Moines and the providers were all on the same page with Bary’s medical plan,” said Karen.

Karen was able to be with Bary pre-op, but other than that she was not allowed to be at the hospital in Des Moines due to the COVID restrictions. Once Bary was released from Mercy, he continued to receive daily infusions for the next six weeks that lasted nearly an hour each day.

“Because I was able to get these infusions right here in Manning, I could get chores done, go in and receive my infusion and then get back to the remainder of the day,” remembered Kienast.

I didn’t have the time or energy to be driving back and forth to a larger hospital to receive those infusions daily, and I didn’t necessarily want to be around all of the COVID patients that the urban hospitals were treating.

As Bary’s recovery continued, he eventually graduated to at-home infusions. The MRHC team worked with Carroll Area Nursing to ensure Bary could receive home healthcare.

At that point, “I was so happy to be able to get back to my daily routine on the farm,” said Kienast.


Although Bary will now be on antibiotics for the rest of his life, he truly believes that the prompt, persistent care; teamwork among the entire medical team; and ultimately the personalized care that he received at MRHC saved his life.

“I really appreciated the team environment surrounding my care,” said Kienast. “It didn’t matter when I went to the hospital (day or night), whichever provider or nurse was there to care for me, they knew my situation and worked closely together to find the answers.”

“It’s most reassuring that now when I go back to the hospital or I’m out and about in the community, members of my healthcare team still ask me how I’m getting along,” said Kienast. “You just can’t find that kind of compassionate care everywhere. I’m grateful that at MRHC we don’t have to give up quality in order to receive local care.”


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