Each year, The Resource Group sends volunteers to Ascension’s Medical Missions – free community health events that provide low-income and uninsured populations access to medical services such as health screenings, behavioral health services, vision services and access to sustainable medications. Last month, 22 associates of The Resource Group volunteered at the Medical Mission in Nashville.

During the event, two of them – Gerard Gonthier, a member of The Resource Group Purchased Services Management Community, and Kevin Campbell, a member of The Resource Group Sourcing Community – shared an experience that supported a patient’s wellness in an unexpected way.

“I was on my way moving from one station to the next when I saw this mother trying to calm her two very energetic children,” Gerard said. “Being a parent and now grandparent myself, I saw she seemed a bit stressed, so I walked up to her kids and offered to keep them distracted.”

Gerard ended up playing hide and seek, tag and an assortment of other games with the kids for the entire day. Kevin was nearby and joined in on the fun midway through the event. “You could tell the expression on the mother’s face was that of relief; her need at that moment in time was not just healthcare, but someone to watch her kids so she could receive the care she needed,” he said.

As the day went on, Gerard and Kevin learned a bit more about the mother’s story. “She is a single mom who happened to grow up in the foster system,” Kevin said. “Her food stamps recently got cut and she was very stressed about providing for her kids. She is all they have, and they are all she has; the situation was very heartbreaking. With no extended family or additional resources to spare, this mother brought her kids with her as she sought out care.”

Gerard and Kevin later learned that minutes before they arrived, the mother had been told she would be unable to receive the care she needed because her blood pressure was too high. A couple of hours after Gerard and Kevin started caring for her children, her blood pressure dropped to a normal level, and she was able to receive the procedure she would have missed.

“I always like to say things happen for a reason, and in this situation it is no different,” Gerard said. “Kevin and I were meant to walk past those kids. Being parents and grandparents, we saw the stress on that mother’s face and were able to help in a way we didn’t even know would be that impactful. And now the mother got her procedure, and even as important, those kids got to be kids for a day.”