When a couple has been united in marriage for a quarter of a century, not even the greatest of obstacles can keep them apart. This was proven once again recently at Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville, when a patient received a grand gesture of love from her husband of 25 years; one orchestrated with a little help from Oak Hill staff.
Robert and Penny Craig will celebrate their 26th anniversary on May 29.
A retired Registered Nurse of 26 years, Robert now serves as the caregiver of his wife, whom he met in New Port Richey while both were employed in a nursing home.
Penny has Huntington’s Disease, “a progressive brain disorder caused by a defective gene….that causes changes in the central area of the brain, which affect movement, mood and thinking skills” (https://www.alz.org/) and other health issues. Currently a patient at Oak Hill Hospital, she recently received a very special visitation from her husband.
“Bob wanted to bring sunshine to Penny,” explained Katie Stacy, Director of Public Relations & Communications at Oak Hill Hospital. “Our team saw Bob searching for a place to set up his car with a poster, flowers, and balloon for his wife to view from her hospital window.”
Stepping in to help, several members of the Oak Hill team worked with the grateful Bob to help him find the perfect parking spot; a place where his wife would be sure to see him. Then they set about helping their special visitor present the perfect expression of love for his bride.
“Bob said he and Penny did not know how to use the video calling features on their phones, and Penny is not on Facebook,” Stacy explained. “Our team FaceTimed each other so Bob and Penny could see each other via video. There were many tears shared by Bob and Penny, as well as our entire team. They were so happy to be reunited, even virtually.”
“Our team then taught Bob how to use Google Duo on his own phone and the nurses taught Penny as well,” she continued.
The team took pride in their efforts.
“I would want someone to help me if it was my wife,” said Tom Hughes, Plant Operations Maintenance Tech. “Just glad I could help.”
And Stephanie Kindberg, Administrative Assistant of Plant Operations at Oak Hill Hospital, was pleased to help this special couple celebrate a very special milestone in their lives.
“It was so exciting to see how happy they were to FaceTime each other! Just being able to help in the smallest way can have such a big impact,” she said, “and I am happy to do what I could to make this special for them.”
Those who wish to do their part to make a difference in the lives of HD patients, and in honor of Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month, are encouraged to answer this week’s Show Us Your SunShine ‘SunShine Summons,’ an opportunity for Hernando Sun readers to spread their own sunshine.
The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by this disease, through community services, education, advocacy and research. The society offers numerous virtual volunteer opportunities; for more information, visit https://hdsa.org/volunteer-opportunities/.
Those who choose to answer our ‘SunShine Summons’ by becoming a HDSA Virtual Volunteer are encouraged to submit a photo and/or account of their good deed, for inclusion in a future edition of Show Us Your SunShine. Send these submissions, along with any other good news, to community reporter Megan Hussey at [email protected]