Special Delivery: Volunteers go the extra mile to make a patient’s day

Megan Alpers
Monday, September 15, 2014

Recently the Roth Auxiliary volunteers who staff our hospital’s gift shop received a special note from Don Goad of Nashville, Tennessee.

Don’s 4-year-old grandson, Micah, has a rare heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot. In July, Micah traveled with his family from Alabama to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for surgery with Frank Hanley, MD, a pioneer in repairing this complex condition.

“I wanted him to have something to cheer him up when he woke from the anesthesia,” Don wrote, “so I called the gift shop and Julie helped me select an Elmo.”

Micah hadn’t been assigned a room yet, so the gift shop volunteers let Don know they might have to wait until the next day to deliver Elmo when Micah was admitted to the cardiovascular intensive care unit. A short time later, Micah’s mother offered to walk down to the gift shop to pick up Elmo so it would be ready when Micah woke up.

But as it turned out, two of the gift shop volunteers had already taken it upon themselves to make sure Elmo made it to Micah as soon as possible.

Afterwards, Don sent this thoughtful note to our hospital:

Imagine a 4-year-old about to endure his fourth 7- to 8-hour open-heart surgery. The door opens with a delivery from a gift shop volunteer, and his smile lights up the entire hospital floor. THAT’S what you guys do. And that happiness spills over to the parents and everyone the parents talk to about their experience with LPCH.

On the surface, perhaps this sounds like a trivial issue, but I don’t think there are any trivial issues for the kids and the families at LPCH. When you’re watching your child go through these heart-wrenching surgeries, everything is a big deal. And I would offer that this type of caring, commitment, and customer service is exactly why LPCH enjoys the reputation it does.

I really appreciate it and wanted someone to know this exceptional kindness does not go unnoticed.

Thanks so much,
Don Goad
Nashville, TN

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Don. We couldn’t agree more. From lifesaving surgery to Elmo deliveries, we are humbled by all the ways our caregivers and volunteers provide extraordinary care every day.