News & Events
Wedding Shows Depth of Hospital Care, Compassion

Monday, 10 August 2009
In the midst of all the complex ideas, lengthy discussions and heated debates swirling around health care these days, a wedding ceremony reminds us that like life, health care and the work of hospitals never stop.

The wedding took place on July 28 in Carroll. It was a small, simple ceremony held in an unusual place – St. Anthony Regional Hospital. It was small because it was really meant for just one person – the bride’s mother, Vickie Rattenborg, who lives near Ralston. It was at the hospital because Mrs. Rattenborg was in the final stages of a long battle with colon cancer.

It was simple because Mrs. Rattenborg’s only daughter had only one wish – for her mother to attend her wedding. That was easy enough. Arrangements were made for all the right people – bride, groom, families and the local magistrate – to be at the hospital at the same time.

But the staff at St. Anthony’s wanted to provide more than space, so they created a chapel out of the hospital’s third-floor atrium, complete with flowers and wedding decorations.

Mrs. Rattenborg’s husband, Rodney, told the Carroll Daily Times Herald that he was “exceptionally grateful for the compassion of so many St. Anthony Regional Hospital employees who made the impromptu wedding meaningful.”

It’s notable that the employees who made this happen were primarily from the hospital’s business office. That fact underscores how the community-based mission permeates Iowa’s hospitals, how all staff – from nurses and physicians to housekeepers and maintenance technicians – are ready to step up and make a difference in people’s lives.

It doesn’t always make the newspapers and it’s rarely mentioned by policymakers, but this kind of thing goes on at hospitals every day. Because life goes on, and life demands real care and true compassion.

By the way, Mrs. Rattenborg passed away on August 3.

Thank you to the Iowa Hospital Association for this story.

Last updated ( Tuesday, 11 August 2009 )

St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home
311 S. Clark
Carroll, IA 51401