In sickness and in health

Florence | Springfield | April 13, 2017
Angelic acts unite elderly couple in hospital

“In sickness and in health.” 

Couples share those words of commitment at the beginning of their married life. Over a lifetime, these words take acts of grace to fulfill, both from each other and, at times, from others along life’s journey.

For a precious octogenarian couple, a few tenderhearted caregivers at two PeaceHealth hospitals in Oregon came along—right when the couple needed them.

Dr. Christy Horton of PeaceHealth Peace Harbor Medical Center in Florence, Oregon shared the story. The wife had to be transferred from PeaceHealth Peace Harbor to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, Oregon (about 70 miles away).

Knowing how close older couples can be, the staff expected it would be only a matter of time before they would see her husband.

Sure enough, in a little over twenty-four hours after his wife went to Springfield, the husband showed up in the emergency department and required admission.

Dr. Christy remembers the man looking at her, pleading to be sent to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart RiverBend to be near his bride who was to undergo surgery the following day.

Although, RiverBend had been at capacity for months and there was only a glimmer of hope to find room for the husband, a glimmer was all that was needed.

Robin Kennett, patient placement coordinator lead at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart-RiverBend answered the transfer call made on the desperate husband’s behalf. A bed was open and a further divine act came when the oncology charge nurse, Liz Harper, RN, was able to arrange adjoining rooms.

When this news was shared with the husband, his inconsolable crying turned to a beaming smile.

At PeaceHealth Sacred Heart-RiverBend the next day, Harper walked by the wife’s room and saw “two smiling faces.” The couple was “holding hands, reading from their Bible,” she said. "Just perfect."