It’s the season of giving thanks. As chief nursing officer at HCA’s Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth, I’m thankful for the privilege to care for the sick, show compassion to patients and provide comfort for families. As caretakers, that’s what we do….not because we have to, but because we choose to.

Oftentimes our passion takes us outside the walls of our hospital, too. As was the case a little over one year ago when our caregivers helped galvanize a community to serve one man in need: John McAnally.

After seeing the Korean War veteran on the local evening news for being robbed five times in six months, the desire to help overwhelmed me, and others at our hospital. We learned his home was in poor condition and later discovered his health was ailing, too. This became more than a passion project for our team. It was our purpose – to lead, to give back, to care for others – above all else.

More than 60 Plaza Medical Center employees and countless community sponsors – construction, plumbing, landscapers, roofers, electricians, security, the list goes on – volunteered their time and tender loving care to nurse his home to health.

After three months, Mr. McAnally’s extreme home makeover and labor of love was complete. Sadly, he passed away last November at Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth, surrounded by his Plaza family who helped make his home a home again.

‘Tis the season of giving thanks, and I’m thankful to have known him.

Watch more on what we’ve named the “McAnally Rally” here: