Everyday Angels

How one Charlotte Hopewell grad made an ailing woman’s day

Donna Nasko embracing mom Wanda Layton.
Donna Nasko embracing mom Wanda Layton. Courtesy of Donna Nasko

I hope the saying, “Better late than never” holds true, because this ‘thank you’ is long overdue.

Last October, my mother, Wanda Layton, was a patient at the Novant Hospital in Huntersville. She was recovering from a successful colon cancer surgery. The night before she was to be discharged, she wasn’t feeling all that chipper. Mom, then 92, is a very active, very positive person. But the events of the past week had taken some of the wind out of her sails.

After we talked about her release from the hospital and said our good nights, I headed home for the evening. What I didn’t realize was that Mom was not doing as well as I thought. (She’s good at not wanting to worry me.)

But, while I was blissfully ignorant, someone else had Mom on her radar screen. Imagine my surprise, when I arrived early to meet with the doctor and await Mom’s discharge, to find a lovely bouquet of flowers on her bedside tray.

Mom explained that the daughter of the patient in the next room had seen her the night before and thought she looked sad. Katherine Gomez, a recent graduate of Hopewell High School, explained to me later that, after seeing Mom in that state, she asked her mother if it would be all right to purchase some flowers to cheer her. Her mother agreed. And cheer her they did!

I asked Katherine if she had any career goals, and she said she wanted to become a nurse. If compassion is a prerequisite, I believe Katherine will be exceptional. Donna Nasko, Huntersville

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Did a stranger step in to offer you help out of the blue? Email rwilkerson@charlotteobserver.com. Include name, hometown and daytime number. Or mail Everyday Angels, Charlotte Observer, 600 S. Tryon, Charlotte, NC 28230. Roland Wilkerson