Inspiring Stories

Methodist Hospital Helps Couple Celebrate 60th Wedding Anniversary

Published: May 21, 2019

Had JR and Eleanor Ramsey been home in Neola, Iowa, on April 26, they would’ve quietly celebrated a big milestone.

But a heart issue, a stroke and other health setbacks landed JR, 86, at Methodist Hospital on the Acute Rehabilitation floor.

That morning, JR mentioned to nurse practitioner Analisa Krahmer, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, NP-C, CRRN, that it was a special day for him and his wife: their 60th wedding anniversary.

“We had a conversation about how rare that occurs and I asked him if his wife was coming up," Krahmer said. "He said in the afternoon and his face just lit up. It was so sweet.”

So Krahmer went straight to Acute Rehab service leader Sara Hamilton, MSN, RN-BC, CRRN, and asked how the hospital could help the couple celebrate.

"I felt we needed to do something," Krahmer said.

“You betcha,” Hamilton responded without hesitation.

From there, staff went to work, ordering flowers from the gift shop and a red velvet cake from Food & Nutrition Services.

It was delivered to JR’s room in time for Eleanor's visit.

“I said, ‘What’s that for?’” Eleanor, 79, recalled with a laugh. “I was very surprised.”


"You’re in the Hospital, but Life Still Happens"

Krahmer said she was inspired to act because her parents spent their 40th wedding anniversary at Methodist Hospital nearly two decades ago after her father suffered a heart attack.

JR and Eleanor Ramsey with nurse practitioner
Analisa Krahmer

She remembered the hospital bringing them a fancy dinner and cake.

Hamilton said the response by those who work on the Acute Rehab floor – who she emphatically calls “the best team ever” – isn’t surprising.

Staff members get to know patients well as they recover from strokes, disabilities and sometimes surgery.

The floor, which has as many as 22 patients at any given time, is served by nurses and nursing assistants who work closely with occupational, physical and speech therapists.

“You’re in the hospital, but life still happens,” Hamilton said. “We want to make sure we celebrate milestones with patients.”

“It is so heartwarming to know that the staff cares and wants to do this sort of thing,” she continued. “They honestly don’t think anything of it. It’s just what they do.”


Grateful for Methodist Staff

The gesture made a huge impact on JR and Eleanor.

While their 60th anniversary was nothing like their wedding day at a Methodist church in Iowa in 1959, it was special in its own way.

JR acknowledged that he would’ve rather celebrated at home. But being surrounded by people who go the extra mile helped.

“I’m glad to have the staff – from the doctors, all the way down the line – that we’ve had,” said JR. “We’ve been pretty fortunate.”

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