Great Seal of the State of Delaware
Jack Markell's Blog

Delaware Governor: Jack Markell

Facebook  Twitter  Google+  Instagram  Pinterest  Flickr  YouTube

  Archived Posts From: 2010


Hospital Staff: Saving Lives through the Snow

Written on: March 5th, 2010 in Recognizing State Employees

I wanted to share the letter below.  It’s a moving testimonial to our healthcare workers.  Although the letter specifically mentions two hospitals, I know that all hospital staff, including the state-operated facilities across Delaware, have been working extremely hard.  Thank you!


Dear Governor Markell,

It is with a thankful heart that I write this note. During the most recent storm, my father awoke to find that he was unable to use his arm and when trying to get out of bed, he found himself on the floor, unable to use his leg. My mother, who has asthma, a poor heart and is a cancer survivor, and my sister, a teacher at Townsend Elementary, called a neighbor, Kenny, to come over and help them get Dad into the car.

With it snowing heavily, Kenny agreed to drive my dad to the hospital. Kenny recognized that my dad had a stroke. Oh, the kindness of a neighbor!

In the meantime, my husband and I headed for Christiana Hospital. When we arrived in the emergency room, we were greeted by nurses who hadn’t slept, or had just come in from sleeping in hotels. Some were in the process of securing hotel rooms for the night that was to come. We were greeted by residents and doctors in jeans and boots. We heard how husbands drove wives into the hospital so they wouldn’t miss their shift and neighbors shoveling drives to get physicians to the hospital. Most importantly, we were greeted with smiles.

As the day went on, and so did the storm, we listened as nurses called upon in-laws to take care of their children and heard calls to families to say that they would not be coming home. And still…there were those pleasant smiles…asking if we needed anything.

When the neurologist arrived in his snow boots, it became crystal clear to me that these unique individuals had an unsurpassed dedication for their patients. We saw nurses grab pillows and rest by front doors – where employees continued shoveling to keep the entrance clear. That night, one nurse, Jennifer, slept in a nearby hotel room with 5 other nurses to ensure that she would be rested and ready for her 7 PM shift. And she wasn’t alone, as the hotel sold out!

As night came, my mother’s neighbor, Chuckie, who recently returned from Iraq, called my sister to say that he had driven to the hospital to pick her up to get her home. Neighbors helping neighbors in need.

Soon, some nurses headed for the upper floor to grab a few winks in a hospital bed, while others just kept working. I guess what was so impressive was that their only concern was for their patients. No one complained about the hours, or leaving their children, or not having a bed to rest. No one complained about not having dinner or a break.

As the hours and days passed, I was more and more amazed at the spirit of the hospital staff…providing excellent, compassionate care for the patient and the family!

Isn’t it amazing how people can pull together for the common good of others? The selflessness, the caring, the unwavering commitment to others…never thinking of themselves….that is what I saw over the next several days at Christiana Hospital. As the staff expressed concern for my getting to and from the hospital, they never seemed to worry about themselves. Their only concern was for others.

Interestingly, at the same time, my niece was an oncology patient at the A.I. duPont Hospital for Children. As I called my sister to check on my niece, we exchanged stories about the sacrifices the nurses were making for us. They put their families aside, for our families….Dr. Miller, Dr. Kolb, Vicki, the nurses, the food service staff, the housing staff, numerous others, and their families made it possible for treatment to continue and the best possible patient care to take place.

Tonight both my dad and my niece are home and I am filled with a grateful heart. We are so lucky!

Do we have dedicated, compassionate professionals who make the world a better place because they are in it? Yes, we do. 


Sandra J. Genett, Ed.D.

Tags: , , , ,