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Love Through the Decades

Love Through the Decades

Joe has a special love for Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston, a love that can be traced back to 1970 when he first came to the hospital as a patient, just two years after it opened. When he was twelve years old, he ignited a firecracker surrounded by his brother, sister, and other neighborhood friends and sustained extensive burns across his body. After receiving care at the Boston Shriners Hospital throughout his teenage years, Joe came back to the hospital as an employee in 1985 to share his love for the organization. Now a health unit coordinator on the acute care unit, Joe shares a few special memories of his many decades at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston as we celebrate our 50th anniversary year.
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Speaker 2:
I'm the unit coordinator at the Shriners hospital [inaudible 00:00:12] care unit and I've been here at the Shriners... working here for 32 years since 1985, at present. I was a former patient here back in 1970. I was coming here from 1970 to '78 and I was treated extremely well by everybody here on the staff. Doctors we have, nurses and everybody else. So I figured I needed to be part of it. I was 12, curious boy. Put a match to something that I probably shouldn't have. Didn't know how dangerous that was but it happened. But my brother and my sister, my friend came here. I wanted to get out of bed to see my sister. One of the nurses came to my room. They said "My sister died". My sister passed away with pretty badly burns. The next day I got up and said "I want to see my friend". I went out to see my friend and about a couple of weeks later, he passed away.

Speaker 2:
So I went through a lot through all this but the will of God and my strength, kind of kept me going. When I was coming here from a Chester, Pennsylvania hospital, I was coming up here and I had this nun praying over me and stuff like that. We landed and we came to the admission room and I said ...I was hungry. I was starving. I went in there...it was light in there. And one of the nurses said " Joe, we're going on take your bandages off and the photographers... can take picture pictures of you". Then I said " I have one request". She looks at me and she said " What?". I said " I'm hungry. Can you make me a sandwich"?

Speaker 2:
So bought me a little sandwich, ham and cheese sandwich, as I remembered that. She looked at me and said " Joe, you'll be all right". We had a teen room, only teenagers were allowed in there. To get away from all little kids but they had their one area and we had our other area. Me and my brothers were listening to 45s. We love 45s. We just ... They wanted to take a picture of us, on the 45s. I remember playing basketball in the old building and it was me and [inaudible 00:02:34].

Speaker 2:
And all of a sudden, this guy comes up and he was in a suit and tie on, stuff like that. You could see they had a court outside, just the one court and there was a cafeteria, right there. So he looks out the window, comes out the door and it looks ... Hey, can I play basketball with you guys? Turned out to be one of the board of governors. So that was great. It was Mr. Spencer. Fred Spencer, lovely man, lovely man. Every time I see him, we greet each other. We do this basketball thing together. This is a beautiful hospital. I would do anything for this place. The caring throughout the hospital, it's the best. I don't know where I would've been. I can tell you that hundreds of patients feel probably the same way I do.