After more than 14 years in the Air Force, Noelle Scala and her family were excited when she learned that she’d achieved the rank of master sergeant. Her parents are unable to travel for health reasons, so the military planned to hold a special ceremony at the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth so they could attend.
But when both Betty and Joseph Scala were admitted to Texas Health Arlington Memorial shortly before the Dec. 8 ceremony, the military agreed to move the ceremony once again, this time to the hospital. Britton Smith, B.S.N., R.N., a patient care facilitator, heard Noelle discussing the plans with Martha Lynn Danhof, D.O., a hospitalist on the medical staff, and decided to step in. With the help of unit supervisor Cheryl Heebner, R.N., and Chante Jackson, B.S.N., R.N., a fellow patient care coordinator, the Dec. 14 ceremony came together.
Smith stayed with Betty Scala during the ceremony to make sure her needs were met.
“It was amazing to be able to take care of this for them,” Smith said. “Everyone was very emotional, and Mom and Dad were both crying.”
Noelle Scala, now deputy airfield manager at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, said she’s grateful to both the hospital and the military for helping her parents witness the special day.
“I worked so hard to earn my master sergeant stripe, and it meant the world to me to have my parents there. They were both so excited.”