Thrive by IU Health

November 03, 2023

Grateful patient says "thank you" in a big way

IU Health White Memorial Hospital

Grateful patient says

“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.

“They took care of me like I was family”

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:

  • Rachel Hirt, a nurse in the Emergency department, prayed with the Cains. “God sent me an angel,” Maurice says of Hirt.
  • When Deb Hahn, Food and Nutrition Services department lead, realized that Tanya was taking care of her RV in the parking lot in addition to looking after her husband, Hahn offered to move the RV to her own home, where she could provide hookups and keep perishables safe, giving Tanya one less thing to worry about. (“Who does that?” says Tanya.)
  • Team members on the inpatient unit brought the Cains extra goodies to ease their time away from home, including coffee and creamer.
  • Housekeepers and food service team members would stop by the Cains’ room just to chat and see how they were doing.

“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.

A thank you from the heart

“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.”