Bonnie Gruszecki: Years later, deeply grateful to our local hospital

Published: 9/28/2021 9:10:53 AM
Years later, deeply grateful to our local hospital

As I was about to get into my car after leaving Stop & Shop on a recent weekend, I was stopped by a woman who looked familiar. She smiled and said to me, “My name is Sally and I am a nurse at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. I remember your son and your lovely family very well and you were just so wonderful to deal with.”

I thanked her for her very kind words and told her that I actually did remember her and that many years later I still think about the outstanding care and very gracious support and compassion we received time and again at the hospital. I let her know that she and so many others made an enormously positive difference during many difficult times.

And when she asked about our son I was thrilled to tell her how great he was doing and that his metabolic disorder was under good control. I proudly added that he was thriving in college and as a sophomore had already gotten published in scientific journals and was now on his way to getting published again.

She was genuinely happy to hear this. Before saying goodbye I let her know that I was so glad she stopped me and that I would always remember the kindness and wonderful care she and others gave our son.

As I drove away I recalled my son at 3 to 4 years old in his hospital bed. He drew pictures for every employee that came into the room — doctors, nurses, housekeeping, dietitians, and even the kind phlebotomists who came to take his blood for what felt like the 20th time. He always had a smile for everyone.

I recall one time he was in the hospital around Thanksgiving and when he was asleep a nurse invited me into the staff room to offer me a piece of homemade cheesecake! And every employee who came to clean the room always had a kind word to offer us. Once a chaplain I did not even request came into the room and said that when she saw a mother with a young child she just had to come in to say hello. I was moved to tears and when I ran into her in town years later was sure to let her know that I will never forget her kindness and compassion.

I am so deeply grateful for all I described above and so much more. Thankfully, the sad memories of our son being so ill at our local hospital are behind us. And I am happy to say that as I remember the first-rate care and the kindness and compassion extended to our son and our family my heart is filled with gratitude and my face has a big smile.

Bonnie Gruszecki


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