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Inspired by gratitude to give back

Scott donated lunch to team members as a token of his gratitude.

Scott Wener spent 10 days at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and his oxygen levels dropped dangerously. To show his gratitude to the team that saved his life, he made a generous meal donation. This is his story in his own words.

COVID-19 was by far the hardest emotional and physical thing I’ve ever gone through. At night, after the nurses stopped coming by, it was all thinking time. You think of the “what-ifs.” What if I don’t make it? What is my 3-year-old going to remember about me? How is my wife going to cope? And all the other people in my life, including my parents, my family and my friends.

I’m still scarred months later. I recognize there are a lot more people who were worse off than I was, but this isn’t something that I’m just going to get over. It was a really difficult time.

I might not be here today if it wasn’t for my compassionate care team. Not only did they help me heal physically, but they also realized the importance of taking the few minutes to share a story, listen to one of mine or laugh at a joke. It’s the warm and fuzzy personal interaction we all need as humans. It was huge.

They don’t have easy jobs, but their work makes a huge difference in the patient’s experience. I gave back to show appreciation and to let them know to keep doing what they’re doing and keep fighting the fight.

It’s because of that gratitude that I was inspired to do something for those who had cared for me during my most difficult time. I wanted to give back because of the dedicated and unwavering support of the staff. Even though I was alone due to COVID-19 visitation restrictions, they made sure I didn’t feel alone.

I got a little emotional at our recent anniversary dinner as I sat there thinking how lucky I am. Just a month or two ago, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I don’t wish this on anyone because it doesn’t just affect the patient, it also affects their family, friends and work. I am still fighting to fully recover, but I’m well on my way. I look back on this experience with a different viewpoint realizing I’m very thankful for a lot of things I have in life.

Thank you to not only all the Advocate Illinois Masonic staff that directly helped me but to ALL health care workers around the world for stepping up and supporting those in need to battle this and all other health care-related illnesses.

You can support our efforts in the continuing fight against COVID-19 by making a donation here.