“When a hospital does something wrong, everybody talks about it. But when they do something right, you never hear about it. I want people to hear about this.”
Maurice Cain was on vacation in his RV when he woke up on the morning of Aug. 12 not feeling quite right. After some encouragement from his wife, Tanya, and their travel companions, he went to the White Memorial Hospital Emergency department.
He never expected it to be a life-changing moment.
Cain was having a stroke.
100 miles from his home in Flossmore, Ill., and a Black man in a predominately white community (“I knew I was the only Black guy around,” he says), to say that he felt apprehensive is an understatement.
Maurice spent seven days in the hospital, and not only were he and his wife impressed by the highly skilled care he received, but the way the entire White Memorial team rallied around the couple.
“It was so remarkable,” say the Cains. “They went above and beyond to take care of us.”
The Cains are no stranger to long, scary hospital stays. 12 years ago, Maurice contracted H1N1 (swine flu), was in a coma and had to learn to walk again.
“We’ve been through some stuff,” he says. But the care they received at White Memorial stands out as the best.
Examples of how the White Memorial team cared for what mattered most to the Cains include:
“It’s not just the patient going through it, it’s the family,” reminds Tanya. “Imagine what it would have been like if they didn’t take care of us like that?”
“I felt so much love,” says Maurice.
For his part, Maurice returned the love during his stay, chatting with and encouraging other patients while on his frequent walks around the inpatient unit.
“I’m doing better now that I was before the stroke,” Maurice says. He walks four miles a day and doesn’t drink, smoke or consume caffeine anymore.
“But he’s alive,” says Tanya emphatically, as if she’s not just referring to him being alive, but also truly living.
To thank the team at White Memorial—the entire team, from the doctors and nurses who saved his life, to the housekeepers who cleaned his room during his stay—Cain, his wife, and several of their friends and family returned to the hospital in late October in their RVs to provide lunch and express their sincere gratitude in person.
In addition to cooking an extensive lunch spread for the team, the Cains wore custom thank-you t-shirts and brought goodie bags and matching custom t-shirts for the entire team.
Bathed in sunshine and uplifting gospel music, the parking lot party was an event to remember for the White Memorial team.
“I didn’t do it for the spotlight or the glory—just to say thank you,” says Maurice. “I’ll be a spokesman for this hospital as long as I’m walking this earth.”