(EFFINGHAM, IL) – HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital recently welcomed a visitor with a long history at St. Anthony’s. Ron Lovio was in Effingham recently as he traveled with a friend from California to Indiana.
Lovio’s story begins in 1976, as he traveled with his family in a Volkswagen Bus while returning home to Santa Paula, California after vacationing on the east coast. Lovio, who turns 50 this year, recalls he was feeling ill for several days as they drove, complaining of stomach pain. His parents thought it was the stomach flu but when his pain got worse, they decided to pull off the roadway at the next hospital sign. It turned out to be St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital.
Lovio recalls that he felt so safe and relieved once he was there and the nurse gave him a drink of 7-Up. He was in the hospital a week after surgery and still has the booklet signed by the doctor and nurses who took care of him. At a recent morning huddle meeting at St. Anthony’s, Lovio thanked the caregivers at the hospital, as well as the Sisters and other colleagues who watched over his brothers and sisters at a hotel while his parents were with him at the hospital so many years ago.
Lovio shared on behalf of his family, “We were amazed at the personal care everyone gave our family and have never forgotten that scary time. Because my illness couldn't be diagnosed, the doctor decided to do exploratory surgery that evening. It was during an electrical storm, and the hospital lights went out, but the backup generators took over. The whole town of Effingham [population then about 6,000] was so gracious to us,” he said.
When they learned of the new St. Anthony’s Healing Garden that was launched in 2009, the Lovio’s wanted to make a contribution and received a paver stone for the contribution. Ron and his parents made the trip to Effingham in May 2009 for the garden's dedication. As they shared back in 2009, “We will never forget you and will forever be grateful for the care of our son. We pledge to always support you for the next person who may come your way.”
HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation continues to offer commemorative opportunities for making a contribution at certain levels for the Healing Garden. Gifts can provide lasting recognition of someone special for others to observe and enjoy as St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital continues its ministry of healing; a healing of body, mind, and spirit.
For more information about The Healing Garden and commemorative opportunities, contact Michael Wall, Director of Philanthropy, at 217-347-1854 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the hospital’s web site at stanthonyshospital.org, click “Giving” at the top of the page, then click “The Healing Garden Commemorative Paver Program” to locate a downloadable paver form. Contributions can also be made on-line through the web site by selecting “Giving”, and then “Make a Donation.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Ron Lovio (right), recently visited HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital and their Healing Garden to express his appreciation for the care he received many years ago, and see the paver his parents received for their donation to the Healing Garden in 2009. The paver reads, “Thank You for Saving Our Son, Ronnie Lovio – July 28, 1976 – Santa Paula, CA.” Visiting with Lovio are (left) Michael Wall, St. Anthony’s Director of Philanthropy, and (center) Theresa Rutherford, St. Anthony’s President and CEO.