Above and Beyond
Lau family is grateful for lifesaving care and the “extra little things”
Jonathan and Marie Lau have always considered Providence St. Jude Medical Center as “their” hospital — it’s where both of their children were born and who they have entrusted for their family’s care for nearly three decades. Last year, Jonathan and Marie expressed their appreciation by making a gift to establish the Lau Family Caregivers Endowment Fund to support the needs of the hospital’s 2,500 caregivers. Although they have experienced excellent care for many years, there was one moment in particular that sparked their generosity.
Seven minutes. That’s how long it took Marie to drive her husband to Providence St. Jude Medical Center. It was the last week of March 2020 when Jonathan started to feel weak and short of breath, and California had just implemented the pandemic stay-at-home order. Even though they were afraid that his symptoms might be COVID-19, Jonathan and Marie put their trust in Providence St. Jude.
“At the time, nobody in the world knew what was happening or what they were dealing with,” he recalls. “And it was such a scary thing.” For Marie, the worst part was not being able to be by his side due to the quarantine requirements. “I was freaking out, but every time I called the unit, the nurses always reassured me that he was under excellent care and that I shouldn’t worry. It helped me to feel comfort and peace,” she said. “And it also helped knowing he was still so close to home.”
As Jonathan’s hospitalization overlapped with quarantine orders, family visits were restricted during his stay, but the caregivers quickly filled that void of loneliness for him. “Medicine and machines are important, but it’s the human connection and support that can’t be measured that makes such an impact. It’s all the extra little things they do.”
As owners of Le Chef Bakery, one of the country’s premier wholesale businesses specializing in high-end, European-style baked goods, the Laus understand how one small act can have great impact — especially a sweet treat.
“Even though I could not eat much during my time in the hospital, I had shared with a nurse that I looked forward to the red JELL-O,” says Jonathan. “Then at my next meal, I saw an extra JELL-O on my tray. The fact the nurse remembered and made that extra effort was so special to me. They may have saw it as doing their job, but it made a difference in my world.”
Three years after their experience, the Laus still gratefully recall how it felt to have received such outstanding care. “The caregivers are people just like us and they deserve help too,” says Marie. “We are grateful for this experience because it was the staff that gave us peace during this hard time.” It puts smiles on Jonathan and Marie’s faces to know that thanks to their gift, those who take such good care of the community will have their needs looked after as well.
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