Robert Peters cared for a Veteran that is known to Imaging Services; we perform a routine procedure for the Veteran bi-weekly. Robert is known for his warm and friendly rapport with our patients and noticed this morning that a Veteran was wearing brown boots that were too large for his feet. He asked the patient about his “new shoes”, as he didn’t notice the patient wearing them before. The patient revealed that he was recently admitted to the hospital and upon the time of discharge had lost all his clothes, including his shoes. The patient said he really did miss his tennis shoes, but that someone gave him the boots that he was wearing, although they were noticeably too large on his feet.
This Veteran had recently commented to Imaging staff of his financial issues regarding his heat being turned off in his home briefly in the previous weeks and being on a fixed income. Having this personal connection and relationship with the patient and understanding his financial situation, Robert went to our VCS store and bought the patient a pair of Nike tennis shoes.
However, when Robert gave the patient his new Nike’s, he said that these were a gift on behalf of “the Imaging Department”. He did not take credit for purchasing them, and it did not matter to him that there was another service/ward accountable for losing the patient’s clothes on a previous admission. Robert cared only that the patient had what he needed. It was truly a selfless act of compassion.
Robert recently found himself being the sole provider for his own family after his wife lost her job in recent months; the fact that he went above and beyond to buy the patient a nice pair of shoes despite his own financial adversity speaks volumes of his character, commitment, and compassion to our nation’s heroes. He is a nurse that all nurses love to work with and would want to care for ourselves or our own families. When the Veteran received his gift, another nurse noticed him repeatedly opening the box and admiring his new shoes and said that he was so happy because now he didn’t have to “clunk around in boots that don’t fit.”