Photo caption: From left, Kathy Lott and Ruth Vrtis drop off board games Feb. 20 at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
Hinsdale – Westmont High School senior Ruth Vrtis can remember sitting in the waiting room for hours at a time as her sister underwent chemotherapy at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
“I would go every day after school and be there,” Vrtis said. “When she was there in the summer, I’d spend the entire day there and sleep over. It was like a second home for a while.”
Vrtis, 18, and her family would often sit in one of the hospital’s waiting rooms while her sister Lisa Rapp, 28, received treatment or remained in bed because she was sick. To pass the time, the family would play board games they brought with them.
“We used to play Scrabble a lot, because it was quick,” Vrtis said.
When her sister left Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, the family left those games behind, along with some videos and craft items, so other families might enjoy them. But that got Vrtis thinking about how she could help more.
A member of the Westmont High School Rotary Interact club, Vrtis suggested to her club that they collect more board games to donate to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
“I instantly thought it was a great idea,” club sponsor Kathy Lott said. “I knew we just had to do it.”
So over two weeks in January, Rotary Interact held a collection, gathering together 32 different board and puzzle games to donate to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. They donated those games to the hospital on Feb. 20.
Rotary Interact is a service club with about 40 members on its roster, Lott said. It conducts two or three service projects a month, but this is the first time it’s directly worked with Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
Vrtis and her family returned to the hospital earlier this year. Her sister had developed an infection, and needed help. Though the family hadn’t been to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital for about two years, Vrtis said, the nurses there recognized them right away.
“As soon as one of them knew we were there, they all started flooding in and talking to us,” Vrtis said. “It was great to be back there again and see them all. The staff is really great.”
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital has not received a donation like this in the past, said Jessica Green, a team lead in patient access services.
“We are a hospital, so we treat the physical body,” Green said. “Having games will help us treat the mental as well as a spiritual. These gently used games can lighten somebody’s day. It’s wonderful.”
The games could go out during patient rounding and could go into the hospital family waiting rooms, Green said. “We’re happy to accept them and use them,” she said.
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.
Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.
Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, firstname.lastname@example.org; (630) 856-2354