LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — The concept behind the 2000 movie,”Pay it Forward,” dates back over the last century. It actually quite simple.
Those who benefit from an act of kindness, repay it to others instead of the benefactor.
In May of 2013, darkness fell over Moore Oklahoma. An Ef-5 tornado touched down, killing 24 and injuring nearly 400.
It also destroyed its center for healing, Norman Regional Medical Center. Just after the storm lifted, Americans came to their aid.
“It is such a devastating impact to lose a hospital. The reaction of help that we got from, local community members, statewide, but more importantly, the other people in the nation who we had no clue who there were. Just the amount of support, prayer and financial support that came in for our employees,” says Norman Regional Medical Center CEO Paul Whitaker.
Paul Whitaker received an email on the afternoon of April 28th, when 23 tornadoes hit the state of Mississippi, causing the most damage in Louisville. That’s when word of the destruction at Winston Medical Center hit home with the veteran healthcare administrator. The CEO from Oklahoma and his staff members decided it was time to not only help, but it to pay it forward.
“It just hit me, this is our chance to repay it back. This is where we pay it back, pay it forward for the all the support that was sent our way,” adds Whitaker.
Whitaker booked his flight and made his way to Louisville.. with a check for 48-thousand dollars. Its not to rebuild the hospital- but to help the employees who serve as the community’s medical backbone.
“I don’t know how far Norman or Moore, Oklahoma is from here, but it is a long way. To do this, to take up this kind of money to give to us, the employees of Winston Medical Center is just unbelievable,” says Interim CEO of Winston Medical Center Paul Black.
“I think this is a blessing that we need to accept and continue to grow and move forward on,” says WMC Marketing Director Brandi Krajewksi.
As for WMC’s interim CEO — he hopes he never has to return the favor.
“That’s the hole thing. If there is another one like this, we will definitely pay it forward. But, like alot of people, we hope that doesn’t take place,” adds Black.
For the staff of Winston Medical Center and Norman Regional Medical Center — uniting in recovery is just one more day in the life.
Norman Regional Hospital is a network of three hospitals.
Their Moore location is officially under construction, after a ground breaking last week.