A young Gold Bar boy sent a letter of thanks to the CEO of Providence Hospital for looking after his grandfather, and got a big thanks back from the touched hospital leader.
Niko Johnson and his entire 6th grade class were invited to tour the new Providence Clinic in Monroe Tuesday, where they had a chance to see real human organs, see how X-rays and other scanning machines work and enjoy a pizza lunch.
Johnson, 12, who attends Dutch Hill Elementary in Snohomish but who lives in Gold Bar, wrote a letter to Rod Hochman, the CEO of Providence Health and Services to tell him that Providence had helped him hang on to someone very dear to him.
“My grandfather went to Providence in Everett and he is still living,” Johnson wrote.
He needs his grandfather; he’s already lost others near to him, he went on.
“My parents are divorced and the last time I saw my Dad was seven years ago,” he wrote. “I live with my Mom and my grandparents and my grandpa could have died if you and Providence weren’t there for him.”
Johnson’s grandfather Bob Strom had to have a triple bypass, Johnson explained.
“If he had passed I would be so sad because he is one of the most influential people in my life,” the young man wrote.
Soon his mother, who is having some consistent health issues, will have surgery at Providence Everett herself, he added.
“We hope for the best of luck,” he said.
Johnson found out who CEO Rod Hochman was and how to reach him by doing an internet search, he said later.
“I looked up a bio from when he went from Swedish to Providence (during a partnership arrangement between the two hospitals), and it said, ‘If you have any questions, please contact this address,’” said Johnson. “And it ended up working.”
Hochman was so moved that he forwarded the letter on to Everett Providence and suggested they do something to honor the young man.
So Everett Providence arranged for the kids to see the Inside/Out Organ Show, in which they got to see real lungs and a real brain, among other things. Then the kids got to tour the facility.
Adding to the excitement was the presence of television news reporters from King 5
Johnson, who still goes to the same Snohomish elementary school he attended before moving to Gold Bar, said his class was impressed by the fact that he got to be on TV more than anything else.
“They said they thought the field trip was okay-I thought it was cool—and they liked the organ show, but everyone was excited I was on TV,” he said.
Johnson’s grandfather said that Johnson is a remarkable young man with a good attitude in spite of the challenges he’s faced.
“Love and caring and compassion, he’s got a bundle of it, and and I’ve had the fortunate role to be his grandfather,” he said. “He’s a pretty special kid.”