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Parrish Emergency Care Partners Save 9-Year-Old Zoe's Birthday

  • Author: Zoe
  • Date Submitted: Jun 13, 2024
  • Category: Emergency Care

Zoe was anxiously awaiting her 9th birthday party in just a few hours at Sky Zone when she started experiencing severe abdominal pain. Her concerned mother, April, rushed her to Parrish Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

Zoe’s medical condition was indeed serious. Understandably, April became nervous and emotional. Jeremy Austin, an EMT, went into the room to give her an update on the plan of care. After talking for a few moments, April told Jeremy that, in addition to being worried about her daughter, she was sad because this meant they would have to cancel Zoe’s birthday party that she was going to share with her 'Irish twin' brother, who was also at bedside with her.

When Jeremy heard about the situation, he immediately decided there was still a way both could be celebrated! He collaborated with his fellow Care Partners Sarah Thoms, LPN, and Jessica Coughlan, RN, to arrange an “Emergency Department Birthday Party” for Zoe and her brother. They brought in a birthday banner, stickers, some glove 'balloons' and a ‘Heihei the Roostertoy’ from the movie Moana to Zoe's room. As they sang an untraditional birthday song to Zoe and her brother, their mom and dad couldn't help but cry. They expressed deep gratitude for making the frightening experience as special as possible.

Happy, happy birthday
From all of us to you.
Happy, happy birthday
From your ER crew!

“This was such a selfless gesture. I want to make sure this team is recognized for their efforts. The best part was that they had no idea that I even worked at Parrish. My orientation was one week prior and this assured me that I had made the right choice to work here. I am proud to be a part of this team,” said, April, a newly onboarded Medical Assistant at Parrish Medical Group. Zoe told her mother, “She wants her birthday party at Parrish Emergency Department every year!”

Emergency Department and Women’s Services Director, Ericka Jacobs, spoke about her team, "Our Care Partners went above and beyond, and this extraordinary act of kindness did not go unnoticed. Hearing this story brought tears to my eyes. The actions these Care Partners demonstrated aren’t taught in school; they’re rooted in a deep desire to serve people. I couldn’t be prouder and more honored to work alongside them."

Such healing moments happen in all areas of Parrish Healthcare because, well, it’s what we do. Each and every day, sometimes without even realizing the impact we are making, we are creating Healing Experiences for Everyone All the Time®.