TK "Family" Lends Helping Hands

Domire fell Jan. 16 as she went outside her home. She hit her head and briefly lost consciousness. Knowing it could be a sign of something serious, she went to Spectrum Pennock Hospital for what she hoped was just a quick check up.

From there, the story is simply incredible.

"Every step of the way, it seemed like someone from TK was lending a hand to help me out. It made me feel so comforted and so relaxed - like I was being helped by family," said Domire.

Domire, who retired from TK Schools in 2005 after 29 years, said she knew she was in good hands the minute she got to the emergency room and the feeling got stronger and stronger with every turn.

"I know the woman who checked me in was from Middleville. I'm not sure if she was a TK graduate, but she may have been. She was just so nice and so polite right from the start everything was good," she said.

Domire had no question about her emergency room doctor, Patrick McKeown. She knew he was a TK graduate - Class of 2003. "Just seeing him gave me comfort," said Domire. "He was just so polite and so helpful. You could tell he really cared about everyone, not just me. I was so impressed by the way he just handled everything."

McKeown sent her to have a brain scan to check for any injury. Domire said she was certain the person doing the scan was a TK graduate, but couldn't recall his name.

After the scan results were read, Dr. McKeown gave her the news she would need to be transferred to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids for further treatment. The Thornapple Township ambulance arrived and in walked another familiar face.

TK graduate Katie Tyner Green, Class of 1996, was the EMT who drove the ambulance. The second EMT, who rode in the back, told Domire although he wasn't a TK graduate, both his two daughters were TK alum.

"It just made the ride there so much more comforting talking to him about TK Schools and knowing Katie was driving," said Domire. "I just felt so relaxed."

Upon arrival in Grand Rapids, Domire was greeted at the door by one more TK graduate -  trauma doctor, Dr. Betsy Steensma - TK Class of 1998. Domire said Steensma went out of her way to make sure she had everything she needed, was comfortable and understood what was happening. Dr. Steensma, who had worked for Domire at The Scoop in Middleville for several years, even gave Domire her contact information in case she needed anything when she got home. She was outstanding.

"I just couldn't believe it. This is a trauma doctor who has studied all over the country and she came home to work here. And then for her to be the one on duty when I came in - it's just incredible," said Domire. "It couldn't have been more perfect."

Domire is back to work now at her two part-time jobs, Lincoln Meadows, where she said many of the residents or their children were TK grad. She said they have all been so kind and understanding while she recovers from her injuries. Her second job is at Euro Lighting, owned by TK grad, Sven Weltz, who also has worked around her absences and limitations. 

 Domire said she feels overwhelmed by all of the kindness that she's received. She knows there were others involved in her treatment and acknowledges everyone involved was extremely helpful and polite. But the number of TK graduates she encountered, she said, truly touched her heart.

"I'm just so thankful for everyone who helped me and especially to all my TK family. Every one of them offered the greatest help and I really felt like they all cared very much."

Domire said 42 years ago she was looking for a job but she found much more - she found another family at TK and in the community.

"It truly felt like I had family with me every step of the way," said Domire.