Pay It Forward
We’ve all heard about people who perform an act of kindness for a total stranger, for no reason except to make the world a better place.
Some people call it “paying it forward”—starting a chain reaction of positive deeds, for no personal gain.
That’s what happened, when 9 year old Lauren Wahnee’s asthma sent her to the hospital in respiratory distress from a partially collapsed lung. Lauren's mother Donna was facing what no mother wants to experience. "I was extremely stressed and scared, then Gayla Searcy [RN on the Starlight Unit], walked in the room and said 'I promise I will help make your daughter better.' I'll never forget those words. They helped calm me down and meant so much."
"The staff made me feel safe, happy and better."
– Lauren Wahnee
Lauren spent eight days recovering on the unit and made many friends during her stay. She said her favorite memories were when staff pulled her up and down the hallways in a wagon, having a visit from the Chick-fil-a cow and her star pillow signed by the Starlight Staff.
Because of the exemplary care and impact the staff of the Starlight Unit made on Lauren and her family, she and her mother wrote a letter to Wallace Coffey, Chairman of the Comanche Nation, telling him how special their experience was, and encouraging him to make a donation to help ensure that this type of work continues to help other children in their time of need. In response, Chairman Coffey presented a $5,000 check to the CCMH Foundation for the Starlight Unit.
According to Lori Cummins, Director of the CCMH Foundation, the donation will be used for something that Lauren thought would make things even better for kids who are hospitalized—gaming systems and entertainment equipment to make their stay more enjoyable.
The CCMH Foundation and staff of the Children's Starlight Unit would like to thank the Comanche Nation, and a special little girl and her grateful family, for performing a compassionate deed to make the world a better place.
“The Starlight Unit is more than staff and workers. It’s a haven for health”.
– Donna Wahnee