Graduation Surprise at Taylorville Memorial Hospital

Watching your great-granddaughter graduate from high school is a pretty big deal. John Sanders, 90, had gotten his hair cut and made other special arrangements to get ready when he fell and was admitted to Taylorville Memorial Hospital (TMH).

Pana high school senior Lilly Wahl was not going to let her special day go by without seeing her great-grandfather.

“I thought it was very sweet that she would come in and see her great-grandfather,” John said. “Here it is – a 2021 graduate comes in to visit a 1950 graduate!”

When TMH entrance attendants Kathy Mansfield and Amy England learned of Lilly’s plans to come visit John in her cap and gown, they sprang into action. The duo recruited Volunteer Services coordinator Debbie Johnson to help make the visit extra special. Debbie headed to the gift shop and found a pretty necklace with stars on the chain while Kathy picked out a card. The nursing team helped him get everything signed and ready.

When Lily arrived, happy tears flowed as John gave her the present.

“I wasn’t expecting anything,” Lilly said. “The necklace was beautiful. He told me it had all the stars on it because I was the star of his life.”

John was grateful to all who helped him with the graduation surprise and for the nurses who cared for him. “I just couldn’t believe it – you don’t give pretty necklaces like that away,” he said. “Right here is my hospital. I bring my wife here. I’ve had very good care.”

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