Despite Dorian, Nurses Surprise Couple with Anniversary Celebration
Hurricane Doesn't Deter Health First's Holmes Regional Medical Center Associates
from Honoring Pair's Longtime Love
As Hurricane Dorian inched closer to Florida, Richard Randolph was getting ready to wrap up visiting his wife, Diane, a patient at Health First's Holmes Regional Medical Center, before heading home prior to the storm. But the nurses on Diane's floor told him he should stick around just a little bit longer.
"She said, 'You can't leave,' " Diane said of the Tuesday morning conversation between her husband and one of the nurses. " 'You have to go back in the room - at least for five minutes.' "
Their bewilderment was cleared up quickly, as the nursing staff at the Melbourne hospital came in with balloons and cake - a gesture to celebrate the couple's 27th anniversary, which they had only learned about that morning when inquiring about Richard's visiting plans. The hospital was suspending visiting hours by 5 p.m. Tuesday in advance of Dorian, so associates scrambled to make the mini-celebration happen.
"I said, 'Oh my, I can't believe it,' " Diane, 74, gushed. She took to Facebook to post a photo of her, Richard and the nurses, who wanted to make sure the couple was able to commemorate their special day, despite Dorian being en route.
"There's no place like Holmes!" Diane wrote. "The nursing staff go above and (beyond) on their Care and Comfort policy. They surprised us with cake and glow in the dark balloons for our anniversary."
Diane and Richard have been together since 1987, after her first husband died. She was a toll collector on the Delaware River in New Jersey, and he drove an 18-wheeler through her toll booth on a regular basis - and was smitten.
"We were best friends," she said of the beginning of their blossoming romance. "My mother said, 'He's a keeper.' "
Diane was admitted to Holmes Regional on Saturday for an infection. While she might not have physically felt well, her care team's compassion warmed her heart. The anniversary gesture meant a lot to both of them.
"Everyone is so very nice here," Diane said. "They were just wonderful."