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Patient celebrates wedding anniversary with wife

Staff helps patient deliver wedding anniversary promise to wife

'It was the only time in our marriage that I surprised her'

On his wedding anniversary, our staff helped a patient deliver on a promise to his wife. Dennis Kronberg knew he would be in our Hospital on his wedding anniversary.

"I promised my wife we were going somewhere new," he says, laughing.

Sidelined by surgery, Dennis shared the news with his care team. On that upcoming Sunday, he told them, the couple would celebrate 57 years of marriage with bed rest.

"His wife was not in the room yet so I asked him if we could set up an anniversary dinner on Sunday night up on the floor," Jill Miller, RN, Pre-Op, remembers.

Jill reached out to Katie Fendt, RN, manager, Surgical and Digestive Care Unit, to make a "dinner reservation" in a conference room on Hospital Level 6, where Dennis would recuperate from surgery the procedure to remove a leg ulcer.

"The Hospital is not the most romantic place to celebrate a wedding anniversary," Katie says. "But I knew how much their marriage and love meant to each of them and I wanted to make it a special occasion for them."

Level 6 staff transformed a conference room. They decorated with flowers, balloons and flameless candles. Jill wrote a poem for Dennis to read to his wife. They queued up their wedding song – Elvis Presley’s "Can’t Help Falling in Love." They reached out to the couple’s daughter to bring in taco salads from Señor Villa and gifts.

And when it was time for the celebratory dinner, our staff lined the hall and applauded as the couple entered the "honeymoon suite."

"It was the only time in our marriage that I surprised her,” Dennis says. “Even when I try, I can’t explain how nice it was. That shows the kind of people who work at there."

On his wedding anniversary, our staff helped Dennis deliver on his promise to celebrate somewhere “new.” At Gundersen, we practice love on the days you celebrate yours.

"All of this brought a smile to his face and I think he forgot he had major surgery," Jill says. "At Gundersen, we do a great job with those 'extras' to make a patient stay better."

Every day, throughout the many locations that make up Gundersen Health System, staff deliver world-class care plus a little something extra – we call it Love + Medicine. If this story inspires you to share a story of your own go to

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