Eighteen years ago, Liane Edstrom made a promise that once she retired, she would return to volunteer at North Memorial Health Hospital. Her promise was inspired by the amazing care her niece received. True to her word, you can now find Liane volunteering at the hospital’s information desk every week. For more than 12 years, she has served the community she says gave her so much by saving the lives of her niece and great-niece.
Liane’s niece, Kristine was eight months pregnant when she started to feel ill. By the time she reached North Memorial Health Hospital, Kristine’s temperature was spiking, she had an intense headache, she was confused and delirious, and her neck was stiff. The medical team immediately suspected meningitis, which can be contagious, and sometimes deadly. Kristine’s journey from a normal day at the office to emergency isolation took only three and half hours.
Kristine did, in fact, have meningitis and a team of specialists was consulted to ensure not just her wellbeing, but also that of her baby. Kristine clearly remembers the compassion she was shown by those who cared for her. Physicians used flashlights when entering her room to save her from the pain that bright lights caused. The nurses understood her distress about not being able to see her two-year-old son and made sure her husband and son saw her as soon as it was safe. She is so grateful for these small acts of kindness that allowed her to focus on healing so she could go home after just a few days.
One month later, Kristine and her husband returned to the hospital for much happier reason—to welcome a healthy, strong baby girl who they named Elizabeth.
Liane’s gratitude and spirit of service was eventually passed down to another generation in their family. Kristine’s son, Jacob, became a Junior Volunteer at the hospital and was so inspired by his experience, he eventually joined the Marines to continue serving others.